Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Sex abuse inquiry to hold final hearing into Australian Catholic Church

Image result for Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual AbuseThe Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse will examine the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in its final public hearing into the church.

The public hearing will be held on Monday inside the royal commission’s hearing rooms at the Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney.

The hearing will probe existing child protection and child-safe standards within the Catholic Church, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

It will also examine factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Catholic Church institutions across Australia.

The hearing is also expected delve into the response of Catholic Church authorities in Australia to relevant case study reports and other royal commission reports.

It will also examine data relating to the extent of claims of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church of Australia. 

The purpose of this hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous royal commission case studies.

The commission, which is due to deliver its final report in December 2017, stopped accepting survivors' applications to tell their stories to commissioners in private hearings on September 30.

The hearing comes after disgraced paedophile Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale fronted this month charged with more than 36 new allegations of historic child sexual abuse.

The inquiry revealed last year, it has spoken to 5111 survivors in private sessions, with 1544 waiting for future sessions. Last year alone, it held about 37 private sessions a week with survivors.

The Courier understands a number of Ridsdale’s alleged victims have come forward and made reports to Victoria Police Taskforce Sano in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

Australia’s police commissioners are also set to make a historic apology to all victims of child-sex abuse in institutional care who not believed when they reported child sex crimes at the hands of clergy, or who were returned to abusers. 

Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton said earlier this year, commissioners will wait until after the royal commission's final report is released in December. 

In December 2015, the inquiry heard a widespread conspiracy to conceal child sex abuse by a disgraced priest was orchestrated by leaders of the Catholic Church and Victoria police. 

The hearing will be streamed live to the public via webcast on the royal commission’s

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