Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

From episode 129

1:12:20 The Murdoch press has criticised the Royal Commission for suggesting changes to celibacy and the confessional.

From episode 120

35:30 The Catholic Church again displays its lack of moral fibre by refusing to sign up to a national redress scheme.

From episode 109

19:37 The Child Abuse Royal Commission has recommended that Catholic priests must disclose to the authorities information received about child abuse even if that information is provided during the sacrament of confession. Incredibly, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Dennis Hart and Father Frank Brennan have both publicly stated that they would rather go to jail then disclose evidence of child abuse. At least Francis Sullivan from the Truth Justice and Healing Council has said that priests should follow the law of the land however Mark Coleridge, the Archbishop of Brisbane was vague in his statement.

Also in the Royal Commission, they recommended a new rule to remove good character as a mitigating factor in sentencing where that good character facilitated the offending.

31:10 The Royal Commission also called for greater use of evidence by multiple victims in relation to a single perpetrator arguing the exclusion of this evidence in the past has led to unwarranted acquittals.

From episode 102

44:44 In Montréal the Catholic Church has issued a directive that priests should not be left alone with children.

From episode 97

35:36 Parish priest Glen Tattersall says that the Royal Commission is a hatchet job and that many of the church’s problems have been caused by the loose morality of liberals and homosexuals.

From episode 88

52:58 Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to change two-witness rule because ‘that’s our stand’

CHILD sexual assault is a secret crime carried out by men and women who do everything they can to avoid detection.

Which is why one passage in the Bible is a Get Out of Jail Free card for offenders, particularly when adhered to so strictly by those within religious organisations.

Timothy 5:19: demands followers “do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses”.

It’s a message echoed in Matthew 18:16: that reads, among other things, “ … at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established”.

The two passages became the focus this week of a royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness church in Australia, of which there are 65,000 followers.

Having adopted a number of recommendations in the name of greater transparency, there was only one thing the church refused to change: a 2000-year-old protocol requiring two witnesses before a child sexual assault allegation be investigated.

Before the commission, Jehovah’s Witness spokesman Terrence O’Brien said the church “considered the implications of the finding” that the two-witness rule should be scrapped.

“And your response is that the two-witness rule is required by the scriptures and can’t be changed or avoided?” he was asked.

“That’s correct. That’s our stand.”


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