The announcement that Cardinal Pell will attend the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child abuse by religious organisations is a water-shed moment. It deepens the inquiry from the ‘shallowness‘ originally anticipated. It reaffirms the legitimacy of this inquiry as the first time the key protagonists in this heart-breaking and corrupt history have been forced to speak.
At the outset, Victoria Police provided the greatest impetus for an overhaul of how complaints of child abuse are treated within the church. We await a casual rebuff from Cardinal Pell, with a slight taste of contrition.
But unless this inquiry makes some recommendation that matter – that will change the way churches respond to these crimes – the in inquiry is likely to be looked-back on as a benign publishing house, or practice tour, ahead of the Federal Royal Commission which starts this year.
There is one reform that must be recommended…
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