Sex abuse scandal leaves Australian Church, gov’t scrambling for solutions
Friday, 27 September 2019
Source: Catholic News Agency
In the wake of a major clergy sex abuse scandal and the high-profile, controversial trial and conviction of sex abuse of Cardinal George Pell, government and Church officials in Australia are scrambling for solutions.
In another reaction to the sex abuse crisis, some Catholic officials have said that the formation of seminarians needs to be completely reimagined.
One change already announced by Church leaders is that seminarians will be subjected to the same training and screening as other Church officials by the Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, a group that safeguards against child sex abuse through trainings and audits of Catholic bishops, priests and religious. The independent group is chaired by a lay board; its members are the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.
Sheree Limbrick, chief executive of Catholic Professional Standards Limited, told The Age that a rethinking of seminary formation should also include “ongoing formation, support and supervision” of seminarians and priests, and that the audit process would help hold seminarians and priests accountable.