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domenica 12 marzo 2017

Australian Anglican Church: a protection racket for pedophiles

Convicted: Anglican priest Allan Kitchingman
The extent of child sex abuse in the Australian Anglican Church will be laid bare as its leaders answer for what one bishop describes as a protection racket for pedophiles.
Church records on child sex abuse claims will be released as its senior leaders face the royal commission's final Anglican hearing that begins in Sydney on Friday.
University of Sydney law professor Patrick Parkinson says there are pockets within the Anglican Church that have pretty appalling records of child abuse.
"There's definitely pockets of real shame in the Anglican Church," Professor Parkinson told AAP.
"What you see is an appalling history in certain parts of the Anglican Church but I don't think it's fair to say that that's uniform across the Anglican Church as a whole."
The royal commission has examined child abuse in a number of Anglican dioceses including Newcastle and Grafton, as well as a network of pedophiles in the Church of England Boys' Society.
Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson, who was abused as a young man by senior church clerics, has said people of power and influence provided a protection racket during decades of abuse by clergy and lay people in the diocese.
"The house is burning," Bishop Thompson told the royal commission in November before taking leave to focus on his health.
"We need a national response."
Professor Parkinson, who co-authored a 2009 report on child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church, said the church has made a concerted effort nationally since 2002 to improve its child protection policies and practices.
"As the royal commission has shown it remains patchy," he said.
"I think it's fair to say the bigger dioceses have probably done a lot more a lot more rigorously than some smaller dioceses and that's partly about having the resources to do it."
Professor Parkinson has found rates of abuse are much lower in other faith communities than in the Catholic Church, although he notes there is no direct equivalent elsewhere to the Catholic religious brothers who ran orphanages and schools.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Australia leader Nicky Davis said there are some people in positions of power in the Anglican Church who are genuinely trying to make a difference and do the right thing, although it is inconsistent.
"From what I've heard from Anglican victims, the impression I get is that the Catholics are worse both in quantity, in a culture that promotes pedophilia, and in the horrific nature of the offending," Ms Davis said.
"But there are occasional cases in the Anglican Church that put the Catholics to shame, they are so bad."

There were 191 allegations of sexual abuse made by 180 complainants against 135 individuals. Twenty-seven of those 135 had more than one complaint made against them. Three-quarters of all complainants were male. The most likely explanation for the large proportion of abused males is that the church gives many more opportunities for abusers to be alone with boys than with girls.

Child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church of Australia. Parkinson PN1Oates RKJayakody AA.J Child Sex Abus. 2012;21(5):553-70

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