Pope responds to Oz sex abuse report

Pope responds to Oz sex abuse report

Pope responds to Oz sex abuse report

There are recommendations created to better protect children, especially a number of recommendations directed at the Roman Catholic Church.

In the case of the Catholic Church, between the years 1950 and 2009, seven out of every hundred priests abused minors.

The child abuse royal commission's final report on Friday recommended celibacy should be voluntary for the clergy to reduce the risk of harm to children.

The Catholic Church is unlikely to yield to a royal commission's call to break the seal of confession.

Reports state that 61.4 per cent of those abused in religious institutions claimed incidents had taken place in the Catholic church.

Australia's longest-running royal commission - which is the country's highest form of inquiry - has been investigating since 2012 how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years. It said it was committed to helping Australian victims of pedophile priests find healing and justice.

Other amendments include making it easier to take internal disciplinary action and permanently remove from ministry priests or religious against whom abuse complaints have been substantiated, or their dismissal if they have been convicted.

"Further necessary and lasting change must come from a resolve by governments, institutions and the entire community to acknowledge the failures of the past and ensure they are not repeated", the report, released on Friday, said.

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Given that bishops in the past have failed to report abuse to the police, this would bring bishops themselves into the firing line if they do not observe reporting guidelines introduced after the numerous scandals of the past two decades.

Governments and institutions of all descriptions owe it to survivors to show that lessons have been learned from the royal commission and this must include the implementation of a national redress scheme that is consistent with the recommendations made.

After the royal commission's findings were released, the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher and the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, both warned against changes to confessional. Pell this year became the most senior Catholic official to face sex offence charges.

The commission wants the federal government to oversee the development and implementation of a national strategy to prevent future abuse, including a federal minister for children's issues, and a new framework for child safety.

Archbishop Fisher went on to say that stopping the practise of confession "would be a real hurt to all Catholics and orthodox Christians and I don't think would help any young person".

'But I certainly would see the bishops pass on that recommendation to the Holy See, and they would then decide, ' said Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Nine survivors out of 10 said they had been abused by men.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard, who had called for the establishment of the royal commission, said previous efforts to conduct such an inquiry were resisted, despite efforts by whistle-blowers to expose the abuses.

The government has already to date changed legal limitations periods where the commonwealth is a defendant, come up with a nationally agreed set of principles to make organisations safer for the participation of children and begun work on a national database to share "working with children" data.

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