keywords: Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry

  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Why the seal of the confessional should remain in tact

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 December 2016
    18 Comments

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a priest. Some groups and individuals are proposing to the royal commission that the seal of the confessional no longer be inviolable. I was quoted in The Australian saying, 'If a law is introduced to say that a priest should reveal a confession, I'm one of those priests who will disobey the law.' Being also a lawyer, let me explain.

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  • RELIGION

    Heed the voice of the wounded child

    • Moira Rayner
    • 15 November 2013
    22 Comments

    If it happened then, it could happen now. Unless we take children seriously as people, it will. Unless individuals within the culture of their institution see it as a duty to stick their necks out and challenge its culture, it will. Unless bishops and archbishops and cardinals and religious supporting them take personal responsibility for protecting vulnerable people ahead of protecting the reputation of their institution, it will happen again.

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  • RELIGION

    Child abuse dobbing laws

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 July 2012
    42 Comments

    Most, if not all priests, would prefer to go to jail than disclose material from confession. The seal of the confessional is a red herring when it comes to protecting children. If confessional reporting were mandatory, chances are that the perpetrator would simply not come to confession.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Zero tolerance for ritual humiliation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 March 2012
    19 Comments

    The Church is recognised as having tolerated abuse of children and young adults, and sometimes regarded it as character building, in connection with corporal punlshment and activities such as drinking rituals at university residential colleges. But the Catholic college at Sydney University has broken with tradition by implementing its zero tolerance policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church transparency key to protecting children

    • David Cappo
    • 06 March 2012
    21 Comments

    The Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry has set a new benchmark. A particular challenge to churches is the recommendation regarding mandatory reporting for clergy and church personnel. Any equivocation on this would be viewed with disdain by the community.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Limiting discrimination won't harm religious freedoms

    • Moira Rayner
    • 13 August 2009
    10 Comments

    Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act allows religious and quasi-religious groups and individuals to 'discriminate' lawfully. It's hard to see the relevance of the beliefs or lifestyle of a cleaner or clerk in an independent, para-religious school.

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  • RELIGION

    The right not to kill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 September 2008
    22 Comments

    Victoria's 'groundbreaking' Abortion Law Reform Bill dispenses with informed consent provisions that protect vulnerable women, and neglects the right of health professionals to conscientious objection. Surely the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief should count for something.

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