Broken Rites supporting the Royal Commission

By a Broken Rites Australia researcher. Article updated 16 February 2013.

For twenty years, from 1993, Broken Rites Australia has been seeking a national Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate how religious organisations have handled (or mis-handled) allegations of child-sex crimes. At last, in 2013, the federal government has appointed such a Royal Commission.

Several events in 2012 helped to trigger the announcement of the Royal Commission:

  1. On 2 July 2012, with help from Broken Rites, the Australian television program "Four Corners" revealed that, for thirty years, the Catholic Church authorities concealed certain allegations about a priest of the Armidale Catholic diocese known (for legal reasons) as "Father F". In particular, the church failed to advise any of the priest's alleged child-victims about how to report the alleged crimes to the Sex Crime Squad of the New South Wales police.
  2. In 2012 and 2013, a committee of six parliamentarians (appointed by the Victorian state government) has been conducting a 12-months parliamentary inquiry (but not a Royal Commission) into child sexual abuse in religious organisations within Victoria. In late 2012, the Victoria Police said (in a submission to the inquiry) that child-sex crimes have been concealed by the Catholic Church systematically. For example (the submission said), one of Victoria's four Catholic dioceses (the one covering the Melbourne-Geelong area) reported having dealt with a large number of complaints about child-sex crimes but the church had not reported any of these crimes to the police.
  3. In November 2012 the New South Wales state government announced an inquiry into church-related child-sex crimes in the Newcastle region, north of Sydney.

The Royal Commission is an opportunity to expose how the church culture intimidated the victims into remaining silent about the abuse.

Further information

For information on the Royal Commission, see the commission's website.

Or phone the commission: 1800 033 340

The Royal Commission's website gives an email address, where you can register your wish to provide information.