Child sexual abuse inquiry criticises lack of cooperation from Vatican

The Vatican’s repeated refusal to cooperate with official investigations into paedophile priests and its delay in stripping convicted offenders of their clerical status has been condemned by the UK’s child sexual abuse inquiry.

In a highly critical attack on the papacy’s stonewalling response to decades of complaints, the lead counsel to the inquiry, Brian Altman QC, said it was “very disappointing” that significant evidence and statements had been withheld.

Published in The Guardian

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Witnesses give evidence at Royal Commission inquiry into abuse in state care

Witnesses have this morning begun giving evidence at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.

One of the first to appear will be high-profile former prisoner Arthur Taylor, who will describe the abuse he suffered in a boy’s home.

Twenty-eight people will share their experiences of being in the system between 1950 and 1999 over the coming weeks.

A final report from the inquiry is not expected until 2023.

Watch video (from TVNZ)

Published in TVNZ
30 October 2019

Greater transparency wanted over agreement

A support group for survivors of sexual abuse by priests wants more transparency over an agreement struck with the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin.

But the call by Dr Christopher Longhurst, representing the New Zealand branch of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap), has also triggered an acrimonious exchange with another support group.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Man continues fights against church

A Melbourne man is fighting to hold the Catholic church accountable for three clerics and a teacher who sexually violated him as a boy in Otago. Marc – RNZ won’t use his surname – has come back to New Zealand to give evidence and to beg the Royal Commission to weigh in on his second bid for some kind of justice. Phil Pennington reports.

Listen the the story

By Morning Report
Published in Radio New Zealand
11 October 2019

Catholic bishop of Palmerston North Charles Drennan expected to resign

The Catholic bishop of Palmerston North is expected to resign after less than eight years in the job.

Stuff understands Pope Francis has been asked, or will be asked on Friday, to accept 59-year-old Bishop Charles Drennan’s​ resignation. The reasons for the resignation are not known.

Drennan has been the only bishop on the support group known as Te Rōpū Tautoko, which was set up to manage co-operation between the Catholic Church and the Abuse in Care Royal Commission.

Published in Stuff

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Confidentiality clauses: Bishops ‘lack moral leadership’

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops have been accused of lacking moral leadership as church groups decide whether to waive confidentiality clauses in compensation agreements reached with abuse survivors.

Survivor advocates say bishops’ silence on the issue, as the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historic abuse gears up for public hearings, goes against recent edicts by Pope Francis directing senior clerics to build trust with survivors by being transparent and ensuring victims’ voices are heard.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Royal Commission: Calls for commissioner Paul Gibson to step down

The commissioner embroiled in the latest scandal at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care says he won’t be stepping down.

Paul Gibson is responsible for the group of sexual abuse survivors who advise the Royal Commission as it investigates historical abuse of children in state and church care.

Yesterday it was revealed that a partner of one of the advisory group members is a convicted child sex offender and has attended gatherings alongside members of the group.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Sex offender in inquiry meetings: Minister says her hands are tied

Warning: This story discusses issues related to rape and sexual violence.

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin says she is “horrified” that a child sex offender attended meetings of the inquiry into state abuse of children but that there isn’t much she can do about it.

Newsroom reported on Tuesday that the Royal Commission into state abuse of children allowed a convicted child sex offender into three meetings with survivors.

The man is the partner of one of advisory group members and was attending as a support person. The commission was told that the man needed to notify police ahead of any travel.

Published in Stuff

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Child sex offender’s presence at abuse inquiry ‘sickens’ panel members

Warning: This story discusses issues related to rape and sexual violence.

A member of a survivors’ group advising the Government’s abuse in care inquiry has skipped its latest meeting after revelations her partner is a convicted paedophile.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into state of faith-based care appointed 18 people, themselves victims of abuse, to a survivors’ advisory group early this year.

Published in Stuff

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