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Big rise in reports of child abuse In Australia – Govt. Report

A Federal Government report due out today says reported cases of child abuse in the general community have surged by more than 60,000 in the past year to just under 200,000. In America, CNS is reporting a Vatican official endorsing the efforts of the US Bishops' to combat abuse in the Church.

A number of newspapers are carrying the local story about child abuse in Australia usually with a focus on the particular implications and figures for the State in which their readership is based. The Age gives this national overview at the beginning of its report

Reported cases of child abuse have surged by more than 60,000 in the past year to just under 200,000, but only a third have been investigated, a snapshot of the nation's child protection system reveals. The number of substantiated cases of child abuse has almost doubled in five years, and in the past year jumped by 10,000 to 40,400, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, to be released today.
The Catholic News Service (CNS) story is of interest because of the quoted comments from Msgr Charles Scicluna, a Vatican doctrinal official who deals directly with many of the cases of abuse by priests referred to Rome. Msgr Scicluna says the system is necessarily complex and deliberate but, more importantly, it is working.

In an interview in mid-January he said "Obviously, we're all on a learning curve. These cases are being handled as we speak."

But he said the U.S. norms, in tandem with the Vatican's more universal rules for such cases, are proving fair and workable. Some priests have been permanently removed from ministry, some have been laicized and some have been scheduled for a church trial, he said.

The Age – Reports of child abuse up 60,000
CNS – Vatican official says U.S. abuse norms are complex but are working

22 Jan 2004