The horrific nature of the abuse of children within the Catholic Church stays with you when you read about these cases. But so does the strength of some of the victims.
So many have succumbed to the psychological torture, but others find the courage to speak. Fresh inquiries into these cases must bring fresh torment. A national royal commission, as many are now calling for, would prolong the pain for years. We can't blame any victim for rejecting any role in it.
And yet so many say bring it on. Remarkable.
Bernard Keane has considered the latest allegations and examined past royal commissions in Australia. He concludes today
"An inquiry such as a royal commission, which specifically lacks a determinative power such as that possessed by judicial bodies, is much better placed to explore cultural and systemic issues than courts, which focus on single instances. Without an inquiry into the 'abusegenic' culture of the Catholic Church, there can ultimately be no full justice for its victims; the account of what happened to tens of thousands of people at the hands of p-edophiles, and then the insult of having their abusers protected, will remain only partial."
The institutionalised nature of the abuse -- and the heartbreaking calls for justice from those who suffer still -- demand a royal commission. It is the final chink in the chain; the only forum which would be sufficiently empowered to fully investigate this dark period in our history. Like so many of the courageous victims, we say: bring it on.