Friday, October 19, 2012

Australian police accuses Catholic Church of covering up child abuse

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Clerical child abuse (boy with Cross-shaped facial highlight)

The only thing that ever seems to change about allegations that the Catholic Church is responsible for covering up decades’ worth of clerical child abuse is which country they come from next. It’s now Australia’s turn, where local law enforcement has a bit of a bone to pick with the Church:

VICTORIA Police has launched a scathing attack on the Catholic Church, accusing it of deliberately impeding its investigations into child abuse.

In a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by churches, signed by Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, police recommend that some of the church's actions to hinder investigations be criminalised.

The submission lists a number of ways in which the church has hindered the criminal justice process, including dissuading victims of sexual crimes from reporting them to police, failing to engage with police and alerting suspects of allegations against them, ''which may have resulted in loss of evidence''.

It says the church moved or protected known or suspected sexual offenders. While the submission notes the church has recently improved co-operation with police, in some cases it has been reluctant to provide information even when a warrant was issued.

Police also say the typical delay in reports of sex offences within the church means more reports of alleged offences from the 1990s and early 2000s are expected in coming years.

To further confirm the pattern, expect a fresh defense of the Church’s actions from the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue in less time than it takes for a priest to shove an altar boy’s head under his frock.

(via @rdfrs)