Australian police believe at least 26 victims of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, Brother Robert Best, have committed suicide after attending schools at which he taught.
Best will be sentenced on Monday for 27 charges involving 11 other boys that he raped between 1969 and 1988.
Australian police in Victoria are calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the deaths of Best’s victims. To which the church responded something along the lines of, “I mean, I guess you can investigate if you really, really want to. But surely there’s no need!”
“If it helps the victims I’d be more than happy for it to go ahead,” Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors told AAP.
“I don’t think they’ll learn very much more … I’m convinced we’ve done the best we can in more recent years.”
But Bishop Connors on Tuesday said not even revelations from Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson that 26 young men had killed themselves after being abused by priests and brothers in Ballarat convinced him that more would be learnt from an inquiry.
“I think we’ve learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate behaviour and what’s not appropriate behaviour,” Bishop Connors said.
While conceding the abuse of children was wrong, he said that in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
“In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn’t understand, sometimes bishops didn’t understand. We have no excuse now.”
As to whether there was an excuse when Ridsdale and Best were abusing boys, Bishop Connors said he did not know.
I’m sorry, is this bishop’s excuse seriously that raping children was once upon a time not immediately understood to be illegal, immoral, and just heartbreakingly evil?
This story marks the second we’ve covered this week alone on UB about the child-raping priests coming out of the Vatican.The Catholic Church Child Protection Chief was recently arrested for making and distributing child porn via his church-issued work laptop. Yes, the guy in charge of keeping kids safe from sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is going to jail for making, possessing and distributing child pornography.
And forgive me, but I just cannot make it through a story about the Catholic Church without bringing up the fact that it employs the largest number of sex offenders out of any business or organization in the world. Why this is tolerated is beyond me. If Apple had thousands and thousands of rapists designing iPhones, the company would cease to exist. Yet the Catholic Church employs and protects these rapists, and the world continues to give them money and count them as beacons of morality.
Our deepest condolences go out to the victims of Brother Robert Best, and those left to grieve the loss of their loved ones.
(via Herald Sun)