UPDATE 3pm: THE sacrament of reconciliation contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse and inadequate responses to reported incidents.
“We heard that the sacrament is based in a theology of sin 48 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 49 and forgiveness, and that some Catholic Church leaders have viewed child sexual abuse as a sin to be dealt with through private absolution and penance rather than as a crime to be reported to police," the report states.
“We recommend that any religious institution with a rite of religious confession implement a policy that confession for children be conducted in an open space and in a clear line of sight of another adult.”
UPDATE: 2.50pm: COMPULSORY celibacy and vowed chastity contributed to the occurrence of sexual abuse, especially when combined with other risk factors, the Royal Commission has found.
“We acknowledge that only a minority of Catholic clergy and religious have sexually abused children,” the report states.
“However, based on research we conclude that there is an elevated risk of child sexual abuse where compulsorily celibate male clergy or religious have privileged access to children in certain types of Catholic institutions, including schools, residential institutions and parishes.”
“Compulsory celibacy may also have contributed to various forms of psychosexual dysfunction, including psychosexual immaturity, which pose an ongoing risk to the safety of children. For many clergy and religious, celibacy is an unattainable ideal that leads to clergy and religious living double lives, and contributes to a culture of secrecy and hypocrisy. This culture appears to have contributed to some clergy and religious overlooking violations of celibacy and minimising child sexual abuse as forgivable moral lapses committed by colleagues who were struggling to live up to an ideal that for many proved impossible.”
UPDATE 2.45pm: THERE were “catastrophic failures” from leadership of the Catholic Church, the Royal Commission has found.
“Those failures led to the suffering of a great number of children, their families and wider communities.
“For many, the harm was irreparable. In numerous cases, that harm could have been avoided had Catholic Church authorities acted in the interests of children rather than in their own interests.”
UPDATE 2.30pm: MORE than 4400 people reported claims of sexual abuse to the Catholic Church between January 1980 and December 31, 2015, the Royal Commission found.
Almost 30 per cent of the reported incidents occurred in the `70s.
More than 75 per cent of the victims were male, while 22 per cent were female.
Ninety per cent of the alleged perpetrators were males.
Thirty seven per cent were brothers, five per cent sisters, 30 per cent were priests and 29 per cent were lay people.
The Catholic Church has paid out $260 million in compensation.
Twenty two per cent of the alleged perpetrators were aligned with Christian Brothers.
EARLIER: THE Catholic Church has asked to make sweeping changes to canon law by the Royal Commission into child sex abuse.
This includes introducing voluntary celibacy, allowing priests to have partners.
“The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to consider introducing voluntary celibacy for diocesan clergy,” the report, which was handed down today states.
“All Catholic religious institutes in Australia, in consultation with their international leadership and the Holy See as required, should implement measures to address the risks of harm to children and the potential psychological and sexual dysfunction associated with a celibate rule of religious life. This should include consideration of whether and how existing models of religious life could be modified to facilitate alternative forms of association, shorter terms of celibate commitment, and/or voluntary celibacy (where that is consistent with the form of association that has been chosen).”