Australian Government: It's time for a Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy including the Catholic Church.
  • Petitioned PM Julia Gillard

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister Of Australia
PM Julia Gillard
Shadow Treasurer of Australia
Joe Hockey
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Bill Shorten
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Wayne Swan
Federal Attorney General of Australia
Nicola Roxon
Opposition Leader
Tony Abbott

Australian Government: It's time for a Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy including the Catholic Church.

    1. Petition by

      Fr. Bob McGuire, Pete Dillon, Josh Bornstein, Catherine Deveny, Jane Caro, Michael Short, Sue Cato, Chrys Stevenson, Andrew Knight


November 2012


“Any instance of child abuse is an evil and vile thing. It is appropriate for there to be a national response through a royal commission. This, I hope, will help with the healing." A few hours ago, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. It's an historic decision. It represents the vindication of decades of tireless, courageous work by people across the country to make sure that justice is done for victims and survivors of abuse.

My name is Pete.  When I was 8 years old I was sexually abused over a period of time by a member of the Catholic Church. I was an altar boy at a small parish in regional Victoria, and I was forced to commit acts that I did not understand or agree to. All I knew was that it was wrong, that it did not make me feel special like the priest said it would, that I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, and that I was bad.

It took me 22 years to tell anyone. It was only during a session with a psychologist during a particularly difficult time in my life that I dealt with what happened. I was a little boy when it happened and because of this abuse, I was rarely honest with anyone.  My father died not really knowing his own son. 

I almost didn’t make it but I am here. I was able to navigate my way through the hurt and trouble. But I am one of the lucky ones. Dozens of others have taken their own lives, and those that survive have suffered incredible amounts of mental anguish. 

Parliamentarians on both sides need to support a Royal Commission. Only then can every one of us who has been damaged, start to grow again. Please join me in signing on to this petition from high-profile Australians calling for justice for victims of clergy abuse:

Dear Prime Minister, 

The evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children by the clergy, including the Catholic Church, is now irrefutable.

Notwithstanding the growing body of that evidence over many years, the perpetrators of such abuse continue to evade legal and moral responsibility for their criminal behaviour. Attempts by our police including those in both New South Wales and Victoria, to investigate these crimes have been hindered and frustrated by the offenders and those who support them.

Under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia is required to take ‘all appropriate measures to protect the child from sexual abuse’. Until such time that this issue is thoroughly examined and addressed by a body with strong powers to compel relevant evidence to be provided to it, our nation can not claim to uphold its obligations to protect vulnerable children.

Prime Minister, we call on you to take immediate action to establish a Royal Commission into this matter, with the aim of eliminating the scourge of child abuse by the clergy in this country and thereby protecting our children.

-- Josh Bornstein, Catherine Deveny, Fr. Bob McGuire, Jane Caro, Michael Short, Sue Cato, Chrys Stevenson, Andrew Knight, and Pete Dillon.

Recent signatures



    Nov 12, 2012

    Australian Government: It's time for a Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy. via @change

    Clare Bowditch


    Nov 12, 2012

    Sign this petition! Calling for a royal commission into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

    Josh thomas


    Nov 12, 2012

    Or, in lieu of a t-shirt, sign this:

    Marieke Hardy

    Reasons for signing

      • over 1 year ago

      People in positions of power have no right abusing innocent people & breaking the law

    • Shirley Mastwyk MORNINGTON, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Stop abuse of any age

    • timothy farran BEDOURIE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      When i was 12 i fell victim to an anglican priest. It is about time that these predators are called out

      • almost 2 years ago

      Religion should not be a refuge from criminal acts

    • Deidre Murray LUCASTON, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it....


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