In a report that exposes the dark side of churches in Australia, nearly 7% of Catholic priests have been found to be involved in abuse of children. The data relates to the period between 1950 and 2010 and the report has been prepared by a special inquiry committee that has been tasked to examine institutional sex abuse in Australia. The report has been submitted to the Royal Commission for Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which is Australia’s highest form of enquiry. The report says that more than 4,400 people have come forward to report incidences of abuse by Catholic priests. As per the report, the average age of abuse victims was 10.5 years for girls and 11.5 for boys.
For many Australians as well as the entire world, this report comes as a huge shock. Parents and loved ones of victims feel helpless, as they claim that such cases are not properly investigated and the perpetrators often go unpunished. The Royal Commission also provided specific details related to abuse cases in various religious institutions. Of the total reported abuse cases, the highest percentage is from St John of God Brothers at 40.4 percent. The second is Christian Brothers at 22%, followed by Salesians of Don Bosco 21.9%, Marist Brothers 20.4%, De La Salle Brothers 13.8%, and Patrician Brothers 12.4%. The Royal Commission is also investigating abuse cases in other institutions such as schools, sports clubs and religious organizations.