Where there is smoke there is fire

THE decision by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to announce a Royal Commission into child abuse by church members is one almost all thinking people would welcome.

And despite when our country’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has hit out at it calling it “exaggeration” and “smears” against the church; the old saying where there is smoke there is fire is ringing true.

On the ABC current affairs program, 7.30 on Monday evening Graham Ashton, the Victorian Deputy Police Commissioner, was quoted as saying since 1996 the Catholic Church in Victoria has upheld about 620 cases of criminal child abuse, none of which they have reported to police.

Surely the Cardinal cannot expect people in the wider community to believe his church’s bureaucracy is doing all it can to clear up this stigma when such statistics exist?

Confession is supposed to be good for the soul; and let us hope that those poor souls who have been troubled by the acts of men who were supposed to represent the word and love of God tidy up their own backyards so the victims can get on with their lives.

However the Cardinal has welcomed the commission as he believed the “air should be cleared and the truth uncovered”. 

That he says the church shall co-operate fully with the Royal Commission will satisfy many of his parishioners.

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