Churchs in the 21st Century don't have the power they once had over the masses, and it doesn't seem the world at large is putting up with pedophilia in the church place. It's my hope the US court system makes an example this will not be tolerated.
12:48 AEST Tue Aug 21 2012
Victoria's most senior Catholics have apologised for the sexual abuse of children under the church's care and say they will continue taking decisive action to protect children.
In a letter to parishoners the church said it was "deeply sorry" for the suffering and trauma endured by children and the betrayal of trust.
The letter, which is a statement on the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, acknowledges abuse and suffering is a matter of continuing shame for Catholics.
"The sexual abuse of a child was, is and always will be a crime, and is contrary to all we believe in," the letter says.
"We know that parents especially feel an intense betrayal of trust, that even one child could have been so grievously hurt by people whose call it is to serve others.
"The church has apologised for these failures. Today we renew this apology to victims and their families. We are deeply sorry."
It says the church will co-operate with a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse in religious and other organisations.
Lobby group Adults Surviving Child Abuse welcomed the apology but said it needed to be coupled with action.
The group called for a royal commission into religious and institutional child sexual abuse, saying a full inquiry was needed to "prise open" the truth.
"The findings need to inform current practices so that child protection is prioritised with all suspicion of abuse reported immediately to civil authorities," ASCA president Cathy Kezelman said.
"Church and other such institutions must be made accountable to the same legal processes which all other citizens must follow."
The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said the letter speaks of the difficult time ahead for victims and the need to learn from past failures.
"Mistakes were made and we apologise to victims and their families for these failures," he said in a statement.
"The church has learnt from these failures and our response has changed. We are focused on the needs of those who have been abused and have taken action to prevent future abuse."
The letter is signed by Archbishop Hart, Diocese of Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors, Diocese of Sale Bishop Christopher Prowse and Diocese of Sandhurst Bishop Leslie Tomlinson.
The president of Catholic Religious Australia, Sister Annette Cunliffe, and the organisation's Victorian president, Sister Helen Toohey, also signed the letter.
PHILADELPHIA | Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:37pm EDT