This can be attributed to Reason Leader and Member for Northern Metropolitan, Fiona Patten.
It will come as no surprise that I am delighted that the Andrews Government is finally bringing in laws breaking the seal of confession to report child abuse.
This has been a long time coming – too long in my opinion.
It also comes as no surprise that the Catholic Church has come out saying that they will defy these laws.
The clergy has hidden their knowledge of child sexual abuse behind the “seal of the confessional” for hundreds of years.
They are, and always will be, hypocrites.
‘Hypocrites’ is the title of my book published in 2001 which revealed hundreds of child sexual abusers in the Catholic Church. I was also the first in Australia to call for a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the Church, which when enacted years later, revealed the extent of the horrifying problem.
Under current laws, Victorian teachers, police, medical practitioners, nurses, school counsellors, early childhood workers and youth justice workers must tell authorities if they develop a reasonable belief in the course of their professional work that a child has been abused. But priests and religious leaders have so far been exempt from mandatory reporting.
Mandatory reporting means exactly that – mandatory.
Everyone is required to report – no matter what. Priests don’t get a free pass because they sit in a sacred box. You don’t hear Hindus or Muslims or Buddhists asking to be exempt from reporting horrible crimes – why does the Catholic Church somehow think they are still above the law?
Perhaps the clergy should ask ‘what would Jesus do?’.
I think that Jesus would mandatory report.
– Ends –
To organise an interview with Fiona Patten, please phone Kaitlin Bartlett directly.
Media Contact: Kaitlin Bartlett
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