'Pushing the boundaries': Church loses track of abusive priests
The Catholic Church is allowing paedophile priests to live anonymously in the community with limited supervision and has ignored warnings about their misconduct.
The Sunday Age can also reveal one of Victoria's top Catholic officials, Bishop Les Tomlinson, has conducted mass alongside a priest banned from public ministry for committing acts of sexual abuse.
An investigation into the Melbourne archdiocese's program for managing sex offenders within its ranks has found:
- The church is uncertain how many abusive priests are under its supervision
- No written policy for managing sex offenders exists despite the church identifying dozens of predator priests since the start of the Melbourne response victim compensation scheme in 1996
- Priests who have left the church's jurisdiction without permission or ignore directives from superiors about their conduct are still being financially supported and protected
- Parishioners are unaware priests have been banned from public ministry for sexual misconduct because the information is being withheld or removed
A spokesman for the Melbourne archdiocese said risk assessments were conducted for each priest found . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.