Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, in Australia revealed that cases of child sexual abuse committed by the Roman Catholic Church clergy in the country have reached to 600 plus, adding the “shameful and shocking” figures have dated back to the 1930s.
Yet experts and campaigners believed the number of victims could be as high as 10,000, also considering that “only a small fraction of those sexually abused are believed to report the crime.”
According to a report by The Telegraph, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said that its complaints department has upheld 618 complaints of abuse in the past sixteen years.
The revelation was made in a parliamentary after 40 victims in an Australian state of Victoria had committed suicide.
Though only 13 of the cases occurred since 1990, the church admitted it was “ashamed” at its slow response to complaints dating back decades, the report said.
In the same report, Judy Courtin, who is researching abuse in the Catholic Church said : “It can take the victims or survivors decades, if ever, to report.”
“It’s interesting that it has taken the threat of a parliamentary inquiry … for the Church to finally come up with the stats.”
It can be recalled that Pope Benedict XVI , during his 2008 visit in Australia, apologized for the “evil deeds” brought by Australian priests to the “suffering victims” and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.