Victoria's Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

22 October 2012

Professor Patrick Parkinson, AM has told Victoria's State Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that figures for the Catholic Church are six times higher than other churches combined.

In a report published in The Age, Professor Parkinson says ''and that's a conservative figure''.

Professor Parkinson told the state inquiry into how the churches handle sex abuse yesterday that the figures for the Catholic Church were strikingly out of proportion.

He proposed a 12-month amnesty from charges of perverting the course of justice if the church opened all its files on offenders alive and dead, but said those involved in cover-ups would have to resign.

Professor Parkinson, who chaired a review of child protection laws in New South Wales and twice reviewed the church's national Towards Healing abuse protocol, said he broke with the Catholic Church over its cover-up of his independent report on the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Speaking under parliamentary privilege, he said the order sent three priests overseas to avoid police questioning, then suppressed his report on their actions.

He told the committee an American child safety expert had called the order ''the most defiant and unrepentant group'' in the church.

Professor Parkinson said: ''The lies were breathtaking, and [former Australian head] Father [Frank] Moloney was absolutely at the centre of all the untruths.''

View the entire article - Catholic clergy the worst abusers, inquiry told - The Age

Contact: Greg Sherington

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