Catholic Church in Australia reveals 620 abuse cases
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Catholic Church in one Australian state has revealed that at least 620 children have been abused by its clergy since the 1930s, sparking a fresh call Saturday for an independent inquiry into sex abuse.
The Catholic Church in Victoria revealed the number in a submission to a state parliamentary hearing on Friday but said the instances of abuse reported had fallen dramatically from the “appalling” numbers of the 1960s and 1970s.
“It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers,” Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said.
Last year Pope Benedict XVI told Australian bishops that their work had been made more difficult by the clerical sex abuse scandal which has rocked the church as he exhorted them to “repair the errors of the past with honesty”.