Catholic Church Investigated For Ignoring Child Sexual Abuse
By Andy Walker - Crossmap On July 3, 2012
"Unholy Silence" on ABC, a trusted Australian News Broadcast, reported an investigation on irresponsible Catholic stance on a priest's cruel child sexual abuse.
The documentary is currently repeatedly broadcasted in Australia, stirring a massive controversy.
Like Us on Facebook
Geoff Thompson, a Four Corners reporter who investigated the shocking case which involved many children over several years, spoke to Mark Colvin in PM, ABC.
"There was a study done in 2010 through Monash University which found that victims of child sexual assault are 18 times more likely to commit suicide and 50 times more likely to die of an accidental drug overdose."
"And what we've seen in Victoria; at least 40 suicides are being investigated by police with their links to sex abuse by clergy. So sometimes this abuse happens a while ago, but the impacts are life and death issues and they're happening today and they're affecting the children of those abused as well," he said.
Thompson explained one specific case of someone who was formally a priest from the early 1980s until 2005, who was found to have abused at least six altar boys.
He has never been convicted and "lives as a free man in Armidale today."
In 1988, one of these young boys who was abused when he was 11 made effort to reveal the case and bring it through legal process.
Even though he took the priest to the court, the priest was released due to a lack of evidence.
"We now know that the church knew about it before then and they didn't offer that evidence," the reporter commented.
What is more disturbing is that the three senior priests who spoke with the priest who abused children believed that nothing worthy to be referred to the police was said.
There were "instances of misconduct," and that was all they had to say.
"I would be very surprised if any of our viewers judge what they will hear to be adequately described as 'instances of misconduct,' " said Thompson.
"And certainly with the three priests involved, who are very senior priests, I think very serious questions will be asked about what they consider to be an admission which is worthy of telling the police. And if they don't believe that these admissions are worth telling the police it raises a very big question about what else they know, what
else they have known, what else they have in their files now, and they feel, based on their own judgment, it's not worth telling the police about."
"That's not for them to decide. That's for the police to decide, that's for the law courts to decide," He told ABC.
"Unholy Silence" will be again broadcast on Tuesday, July 3 at 11.35pm on ABC1. It is also on ABC News 24 at 8 pm on Saturday at abc.net.au/4corners.