Australia’s Royal Commission has been looking into “Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,” an investigation that has created some major headlines. Last month, for example, we learned that 7% of Catholic priests in the country has been accused of sexually abusing children between the years of 1950 and 2010.
The latest batch of information concerns the Anglican church and it’s no less devastating.
The data shows that 1,115 complaints of child sexual abuse were received by the church between 1980 and the end of 2015, involving 22 of the 23 Anglican dioceses in Australia. Those complaints were made by 1,082 survivors against 569 named and 133 unnamed perpetrators.
The alleged abuse took place at the hands of 285 laypeople and 247 ordained clergy. The royal commission has referred 84 alleged perpetrators to police, four of whom have been prosecuted and 23 are still under investigation.
Unlike the Catholic Church, Anglican power isn’t centralized, so the dioceses operate roughly independently. That suggests this problem is rampant throughout the organization. It’s not just a lack of oversight from certain high-level overseers; it’s a lack of oversight from church leaders across the board.
How many church leaders have to be accused of sexual abuse before people realize this isn’t just one bad apple but rather a spoiled barrel?
And why the hell would people still insist that Christian teachings are a source of morality?
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Gunnar for the link)