4,444 vitcims: The travesty of sexual abuse in Australia’s Catholic Churches

Four thousand four hundred and forty four cases of sexual abuse in 35 years.

The number is astounding. So much abuse, so many lives tormented. These numbers come from recently released information about Australia’s Catholic archdiocese. From the Guardian:

Seven per cent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950, according to new data from the royal commission.

On Monday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse released damning statistics on the scale of the crisis within the Catholic Church. The numbers confirm the extent of sexual predation already suggested by four years of royal commission hearings involving the church, which are now entering their final weeks.

Up to 15% of priests in some dioceses were alleged perpetrators between 1950 and 2015, with abusers most prevalent in the dioceses of Sale and Sandhurst in Victoria, Port Pirie in South Australia, and Lismore and Wollongong in New South Wales. The numbers were even worse in some national Catholic orders. By far the worst was the order of the St John of God Brothers, where a staggering 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children.

Forty percent. Try to fathom that two thirds of a dioceses clergyman are child rapists. For the number to be that high, one would imagine they were not hiding their activities. There would be far too many victims. The most logical conclusion is also the most disturbing and horrific: the Church knew about the abuse and intentionally did nothing. Continue reading