Professor Cahill and Dr Wilkinson will address the following issues in their presentation:

  1. A summary of the various international Government-sponsored and Church-sponsored inquiries into child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other religious groups since 1985 when the first such inquiry was held in the US, and the care and safeguarding initiatives that resulted, as well as their findings and recommendations;
  2. A summary of Volume 16, Books 1 – 3 of the Report of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which dealt with religious institutions, especially the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Orthodox Jewish community, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This includes addressing how the care mechanisms failed where the needs of religious personnel were placed ahead of those of the victims;
  3. An explanatory roadmap to understanding the very complex phenomenon of clerical sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults and the various constellations of intersecting variables that have led to clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. This includes governance structures, such as diocesan autonomy, as well as highlighting the selection of candidates for priesthood, issues relating to seminary training, and the inculcation of clericalism;
  4. Prevalence data into clerical sexual abuse, drawing on Australian, German and US data sources, as well as sexual abuse in other religious institutions, especially in the Anglican Church, the Salvation Army and amongst the Jehovah’s Witnesses;
  5. A reflection on the New Zealand context and the similarities and differences with comparable nations; and
  6. The possible ways forward based on a survey of recommendations made to date.

Presentation starts at 23:45

Presentation starts at 04:00

Statement of Dr Peter Wilkinson and Emeritus Professor Des Cahill

PDF, 2.2 MB

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