Top Aus cleric apologises for abuse

2012-12-24 16:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia's most senior Catholic cleric on Monday apologised to those who "suffered at the hands" of priests and religious teachers after a turbulent year for the church.

Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he was shocked and ashamed, following a series of paedophile allegations against priests and claims that they were hushed up.

In his Christmas message, Pell said his heart went out to "all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests, religious teachers".

"I am deeply sorry this has happened," he added.

"I feel too the shock and shame across the community at these revelations of wrongdoing and crimes."

Without specifically mentioning child sex abuse, Pell said the hurt caused was "completely contrary" to Christ's teachings.

"We need our faith in God's goodness and love to cope with these disasters, to help those who have been hurt," he said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard last month ended more than a decade of growing pressure by ordering a royal commission to investigate the responses of all religious organisations, schools and state care to allegations of abuse.

Separate fact from fiction

Her announcement came after claims by a senior police investigator that the church had covered up sexual abuse of children in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, to protect paedophiles and its own reputation.

The government in Victoria state is already investigating allegations of sex abuse by the clergy with the Church telling a state parliamentary hearing in September that at least 620 children had been abused since the 1930s.

When Gillard announced the royal commission, Pell welcomed it as an opportunity to help victims, "clear the air" and "separate fact from fiction".

"We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church," he said at the time.

"We object to it being exaggerated, we object to being described as the only cab on the rank. I don't think we should be scapegoated."

Child sex abuse allegations and claims they were covered up have rattled the Catholic Church across the world, particularly in Ireland but also in the United States, Germany and Belgium.

Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.