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In November 2012 the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’. This Royal Commission was set up after many years of reports of sexual abuse in Australia within religious institutions of various Christian churches, some state government inquiries and in the context of inquiries in other countries, most notably Ireland. The Royal Commission began its first hearing in April 2013. It has been forecast that the Commission will be hearing submissions for a number of years from witnesses, both from those who ask to speak to the Royal Commissioners and from those who will be asked to appear before the Commission.
At the same time as the establishment of the Royal Commission, the Catholic Church in Australia established a Truth, Justice and healing Council to oversee the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission.
This collection brings together essays from biblical scholars, a church historian, theologians, ministers of religion from a number of churches, lawyers and a psychologist. They each address the issues of sexual abuse, society and the church in the context of the Australian inquiries.
The volume ends with an overview of the processes engaged with by the Catholic Church and the State in the Republic of Ireland and reactions to these inquiries.
The volume of essays considers sexual abuse from the perspective of the victims.
‘What is to be done about the mess we are in over clerical sexual abuse? That question is puzzling concerned people today. This diverse collection offers them profitable reading, wherever they are coming from. It has enough useful suggestions and ideas to stimulate the calm, intelligent discussion now demanded by our communities.’
Edmund Campion, Australian Catholic University
|Writer||Hilary D Regan|
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