Crikey Says

Nov 12, 2012

Crikey says: there must be a royal commission

Victims of horrific abuse in Catholic institutions deserve justice -- would a royal commission deliver it? Internet freedom and Stephen Conroy's Plan B approach. Julia Gillard pulls further ahead of Tony Abbott, Essential polling finds. And the push for a Chinese two child policy.

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.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

4 thoughts on “Crikey says: there must be a royal commission

  1. Hunt Ian

    Bernard’s consolation for the wrong tip about the royal commission is that he might in practice have helped to make untrue his own prediction that both major parties would run from it. It is a big plus for a persistent detective inspector from NSW who should be given a medal for pushing the need to this conclusion.

  2. The Old Bill

    And there was.

  3. Mike Smith

    Of course there must be a royal commission. A permanent floating royal commission to investigate x

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details