|WA Archbishop Tim Costelloe, refuses to break confession seal|
The huge state of Western Australia has joined other Australian states in demanding that Catholic priests break their "seal of confession" to report child abuse to the police. The legislation hasn't gone through parliament over there yet, but I guess you could say the writing is on the wall. So far only New South Wales (under a Liberal gov) has stopped short of demanding priests report abuse that they know about from the confessional.
This week, the McGowan Government unveiled its response to the Royal Commission’s 409 recommendations, which included a call to remove the seal of confession and force priests to report knowledge or suspicions of child sex abuse. The Government accepted that recommendation “in principle”.Predictably, the Western Australian Catholic church has flatly refused to do so. Again, putting their church's religious beliefs above that of the children they're supposed to be protecting from paedophiles within their ranks. This to the outrage of groups representing child protection.
“We are considering a number of legislative options,” Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said.
“All clergy should be required to report child abuse and be subject to the same laws that we require of other professionals with regards to disclosure of abuse.
“Make no mistake, priests who have knowledge or suspicion of child sex abuse should report that to police and failure to do so must be treated as a crime.
“The community has a right to expect that our children are safe, especially within the institutions we trust to protect them.”
The WA Government would give “further consideration” to recommendations urging them to make failure by the clergy and others to report abuse a criminal offence and making priests “mandatory reporters” under law. Perth Now
Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection group Bravehearts, said the WA Government was on the right track but slammed the Catholic Church for its refusal to budge in the best interests of children.If this was any secular organisation that refused to report child sexual abuse to authorities they'd be undergoing police raids and likely even the outlawing of the organisation. It's unfathomable that the Catholic church can think that it can do the same.
“What planet are they from? They have caused so much harm over such a long period and they still don’t get it,” she said. “Honestly, if the Catholic Church is still in that mind then we’ve got to start to ask ourselves why would we trust the Catholic Church or any of its subsidiaries with our children?”
She said priests should face jail if they refuse to break the seal of confession.
From October, South Australia will become the first State to axe the confessional exemption, with priests facing a $10,000 fine if they don’t disclose abuse allegations. The ACT is also introducing similar laws.
On Friday, Pope Francis officially accepted the resignation of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, who said he’d rather risk going to jail than breaking the seal of confession. Perth Now
It's not like there was only the odd case in the royal commission into child sexual abuse involving the Catholic church, it was 60% of all the reported cases that came from that one church.
And all the time they've been blaming the gays......
Catholic priests who don’t report confessions of child sex abuse in Western Australia may be charged https://t.co/m94Iliz4zN— Peter Fox 🦊🇦🇺 (@Peter_Fox59) July 1, 2018