Victory
Petitioning Committee Secretary Standing Committee on Petitions Parliament House CANBERRA The Committee Secretariat: and 33 others

Prime Minister of Australia, Hon. Julia Gillard - Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse & Coverup in the Catholic Church

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We petition the Governor-General of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce AC, and the Prime Minister of Australia Ms Julia Gillard to urgently create a national Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of children, and the alleged cover-up of perpetrators, in the Catholic Church in Australia.

It is clear from recent public statements by concerned individuals and organisations that only a national Royal Commission would have the power, reach and resources to produce thorough and reliable results.

Victims of abuse, past and continuing, within the church community deserve immediate and transparent resolution of their claims. The Catholic Church and Australia’s legal system have for too long failed to deal with these matters with the transparency, urgency and duty of care that our children deserve and to which they have a right.

We call for one inquiry, with the appropriate powers and sensitivity to deal with the testimonies of children, of adults abused as children, and of surviving witnesses in the case of the death of the victim.

The extended time between abuse and inquiry, and the patterns of abuse and repeated involvement of individual perpetrators, and the needs of the families of victims, demand suitable rules of evidence and investigation.

The inquiry needs the powers to counter possible interference and obstruction by the Church hierarchy. It requires independence of the police forces which have existed in parallel to this appalling history of abuse and have to date been largely ineffective in breaking the systems in the Catholic Church which have seen it perpetuated.

Only a fully resourced Royal Commission, with the power to cross state boundaries in following the movement of perpetrators, and with scope to investigate internationally as necessary, will be effective in bringing justice to victims, and in revealing and ending the patterns of abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church in Australia.

Letter to
Committee Secretary Standing Committee on Petitions Parliament House CANBERRA The Committee Secretariat:
Member for Eden-Monaro (NSW) Hon. Mike Kelly MP
Member for Grayndler (NSW) Hon Anthony Albanese MP
and 31 others
Member for Page (NSW) Hon Janelle Saffin MP
Member for Lingiari Hon.Warren Snowdon MP
Member for Blair Hon. Shayne Neumann MP
Member for Perth Hon Stephen Smith MP
Member for Oxley Hon. Bernie Ripoll MP
Member for Fremantle Hon. Melissa Parke MP
Member for Hindmarsh Hon. Steve Georganas MP
Member for Rankin Hon. Craig Emerson MP
Member for McEwen Hon. Rob Mitchell MP
Member for Kingsford Smith Hon Peter Garrett MP
Member for Parramatta Hon. Julie Owens MP
Attorney General of Australia Nicola Roxon
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC
Member for Brand (WA) Hon. Gary Gray MP
Member for Lilley (Qld) Hon Wayne Swan MP
Prime Minister of Australia Hon Julia Gillard MP
Member for New England Mr Tony Windsor MP
Committee Secretary Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Jeanette Radcliffe
Committee Secretary Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Ms Fiona Bowring-Greer
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Member for Greenway Hon. Michelle Rowland MP
Member for Corangamite Hon Darren Cheeseman MP
Member for La Trobe Hon Laura Smyth MP
Member for Robertson Hon Deborah O'Neill MP
Member for Lindsay Hon David Bradbury MP
Member for Moreton Hon Graham Perrett MP
Member for Banks (NSW) Hon Daryl Melham MP
Member for Deakin Hon Mike Symon MP
Member for Petrie Hon Yvette D'Ath MP
Member for Reid Hon John Murphy MP
MP for Parramatta Julie Owens
We petition the Governor-General of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce AC, and the Prime Minister of Australia Ms Julia Gillard to urgently create a national Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of children, and the alleged cover-up of perpetrators, in the Catholic Church in Australia.

It is clear from recent public statements by concerned individuals and organisations that only a national Royal Commission would have the power, reach and resources to produce thorough and reliable results.

Victims of abuse, past and continuing, within the church community deserve immediate and transparent resolution of their claims. The Catholic Church and Australia’s legal system have for too long failed to deal with these matters with the transparency, urgency and duty of care that our children deserve and to which they have a right.

We call for one inquiry, with the appropriate powers and sensitivity to deal with the testimonies of children, of adults abused as children, and of surviving witnesses in the case of the death of the victim.

The extended time between abuse and inquiry, and the patterns of abuse and repeated involvement of individual perpetrators, and the needs of the families of victims, demand suitable rules of evidence and investigation.

The inquiry needs the powers to counter possible interference and obstruction by the Church hierarchy. It requires independence of the police forces which have existed in parallel to this appalling history of abuse and have to date been largely ineffective in breaking the systems in the Catholic Church which have seen it perpetuated.

Only a fully resourced Royal Commission, with the power to cross state boundaries in following the movement of perpetrators, and with scope to investigate internationally as necessary, will be effective in bringing justice to victims, and in revealing and ending the patterns of abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church in Australia.