What a sorry state of affairs. I guess this is what comes of decades of lies, obfuscation and cover-up.
Average people have been asking me just how far Church loyalty lends itself to cover-up. How far does it stretch it’s tentacles into the upper reaches of other institutions like the police and politics? It’s a serious question when politicians pour cold water on the idea of serious investigations.
Of course Barry O’Farrell has announced an inquiry – an inquiry into the way the police have handled the Newcastle and Maitland allegations by Mr Fox. But it’s not an inquiry into the Catholic Church. Barry, I like you a lot, but that’s simply not good enough!
I know the stories of abuse – I’ve been told so many of them over the years. And to suggest priestly abuse is hemmed in by the boundaries of the Newcastle – Maitland diocese is just madness. On Friday the Premier talked about getting justice for the victims in Newcastle – Maitland… Well what about the rest of the victims across the state? Barry, this is serious!
Meanwhile, in the last few days we’ve seen a parade of high profile public Catholics who’ve poured cold water on the idea of a Royal Commission. And so again I ask, “why”? Rightly or wrongly it leaves the impression of a cover-up.
And as for the Church defending its own internal procedures for dealing with abuse claims – well that’s simply unacceptable. How can you trust an organisation to investigate itself?
And just today Cardinal Pell defended the Church’s handling of it all in his newspaper column… Well, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox took to Twitter to respond to Cardinal Pell’s assertions, writing:
“If kids were sexually abused in 1987or 2004 Pell can’t say it’s historical if those crimes are still being concealed. They’re not historical”
Now I’m sure there are some of you out there thinking: “Oh Bill’s picking on the Catholic Church again”… well yes I am! And so I should when justice for victims of Church abuse is at stake.
This boils down to two things for the Catholic Church. One: transparency. And two: trust. Without the transparency the trust will keep seeping away from the Church like waves on the sand.
So what needs to happen in your view? Is the limited inquiry in Newcastle enough? Should there be a Royal Commission instead? And do you still trust what the Catholic Church says when it comes to abuse?