For Immediate Release Monday Nov 10, 2014
Statement by Nicky Davis of SNAP Australia (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) +61 0422 538 440
The UN Committee Against Torture, meeting in Geneva this week, questioned Australian Government officials. They want answers regarding Cardinal George Pell's refusal to hand over documents about child sex crimes by Catholic officials, to the Royal Commission.
Committee members raised the issue of Cardinal Pell's response to Justice Peter McClellan, Chair of the Royal Commission, that his request for files held by the Vatican was "unreasonable" as they were "the internal workings of a sovereign state".
Australian Government representatives were asked by the Committee for their response to this refusal to comply with legal requests for information necessary for the Royal Commission to do its job.
While Cardinal Pell promotes himself as being prepared to "co-operate fully" with the Royal Commission, his actions tell a different story.
Committee Vice-Chairperson, Felice Gaer, described the Australian Government's refusal to investigate these crimes as "compliant or willfully inactive."
Survivors complained that Australian politicians seem unconcerned about the Vatican's blocking of the investigations and call for Government action to ensure all requested documents are turned over to the Royal Commission.
UN Questions Australia's Commitment to Criminally Investigate Child Sexual Violence
A further question from Felice Gaer, asked whether the Royal Commission was merely an information collecting exercise, or would involve criminal investigations.
The Committee also asked for a response to two individual cases, supplied to them by NGOs (Non Government Organisations). One of those is my own case, which involves dozens of known survivors who have never received any recognition. All charges were dropped despite multiple eyewitnesses to the many crimes. I was present in the Committee meeting in Geneva today when the question about my case was asked and will be present tomorrow (1 am Thu Sydney time) when Australia responds.
Nicky Davis +61 0422 538 440 [email protected] Leader, SNAP Australia
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. Founded in 1988, SNAP has more than 20,000 members.)