Why child abuse is everyone’s cross to bear: opinion

SLOWLY but surely, the hidden depravity that destroyed young lives is being dragged from the cloistered halls of power into the public arena.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has laid bare the staggering abuses of power that have occurred in many of the nation’s churches.

By the day, more harrowing stories are emerging from organisations that should be bastions of rectitude and beacons of hope for parishioners.

Church leaders are morally obliged to co-operate and, thankfully, the vast majority have.

In an increasingly secular and cynical society, the royal commission has done profound damage to the brand of Christianity and the esteem with which many churches are held.

But we should never forget that the abuse being revealed is almost wholly confined to decades past.

Very few instances of recent abuses by clergy in mainstream churches have surfaced.

Mercifully, schools and parishes are far safer places now than they were in years past.

This, of course, will be cold comfort to those whose lives have changed irrevocably at the hands of sexual predators.

It’s easy to be emotionally fatigued by the carousel of stories, the seemingly endless stream of headlines, emanating from the royal commission.

For members of affected churches, it would be easy to feel a sense of injustice that the entire institution is being tarnished due to the historic actions of a few.

But we must remain engaged, we must remain angry.

The truth can hide in dark places and it is incumbent on us all as human beings to expose and condemn such insidious evil.

Victims deserve justice, whatever that means when your faith in humanity has been snatched away from you.

The royal commission must mandate meaningful and lasting changes to the way institutions deal with sexual abuse in the future.

Nothing can be more fundamental to us as parents than to ensure our children are safe.

The royal commission has dragged this issue into the light.

It’s up to us all to maintain the rage and keep it there.


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