RCC won’t hand over sex abuse papers

RCC won’t hand over sex abuse papers

The Vatican has declined a Royal Commission request to hand over documents about child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia.

The head of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan, revealed that he had personally written to the Vatican, seeking copies of all documents relating to complaints about abuse involving priests in Australia.

The Vatican has provided documents to the Royal Commission relating to two cases, but Justice McClellan wanted more information to find out how Church authorities in Australia, under the guidance or direction of the Vatican, responded to allegations of abuse.


Justice Peter McClellan (photo Edwina Pickles, Sydney Morning Herald)

In a written response, the Vatican says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations, adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.

Leonie Sheedy, founder and chief executive of Care Leavers Australia Network, a support group for victims of child sexual abuse says the Catholic Church is treating the Australian public with contempt.

I’m not surprised … I feel like the Catholic Church believes it is above the laws of Australia and probably the world.It’s just a replica of their behaviour for the last 200 years in this country.It’s treating the Australian public with contempt, and the Royal Commission as well.

Australians Lawyers Alliance spokesman Andrew Morrison, who has represented many victims of church abuse, says the Vatican has a long history of refusing to assist in such inquiries, including a similar instance in Ireland.

Morrison says the lack of cooperation is going to impact upon the royal commission’s work.

It’s not as if there’s no material at all in Australia to assist – there is – and it’s been of use. But I would simply say that it will certainly prevent the inquiry being as thorough as the Royal Commission wish it to be, and it’s a lack of cooperation that’s disappointing but unsurprising.

Morrison says that, as an independent nation, there is nothing that can be done to force the Vatican to hand over its documents.

The Vatican claims the status of independent nation and in those circumstances there’s nothing which can be done by government, let alone by the royal commission, to compel it to produce documents.

Hat tip: Daz

26 responses to “RCC won’t hand over sex abuse papers”

  1. Broga says:

    The status of The Vatican as an independent nation needs to be ended. I think it was given that status by the criminal Mussolini who ended up hung from his heels from a lamp post by his own people. No, keep your imagination in check, I’ve been down there already.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    The rcc won’t help the authorities in helping investigate child abuse? Well, who’ld a thought it? It’s about time these criminals learnt that they have no right to investigate child abuse claims, each and every case they hear about should be reported to the police immediately and they, and only they, should do the investigation.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Amnesty International has a history of protesting international criminals…

    And pending that, Australia has a history of expelling foreign diplomats from hostile nations. Buh-bye clergy. Blame your boss.

  4. Paul Cook says:

    It would be funny if not so tragic.
    the Vatican …….. “it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.”

    You can hear them around the table can’t you:
    “I’ve just had a word with a non existent thing that lives in the sky that sees all hears all knows all – but of the very real evidence we have of this abuse and our cover up, which we could provide quite easily, he says “NO! DON’T do that, as that is the decent honest human thing to do – and you the RCC don’t have those attributes!””

  5. Barry Duke says:

    All you need to know about the privileges the Vatican enjoys can be seen in this archive piece:

  6. Gindy51 says:

    If the Vatican were any other nation, their diplomats (clerical representatives) would be rounded up and expelled immediately. Child abuse is domestic terrorism, plain and simple, and the RCC practiced like an art form for a decades. Kick the bums out, OZ, you can do it.

  7. charlie says:

    The Vatican seems to demand the same treatment the zionist entity gets from Western countries and the UN. Neither are above the law and both need to held held to account for their various crimes against humanity.
    ENOUGH! Enough of kissing the poops hind end and enough of letting the damn “doG’s ‘chosen'” get away with indiscriminate killings which ARE genocide.

  8. Bubba T Flubba says:

    No surprise here. The rcc is a criminal institution that answers to no nation. It considers itself above the law. Well it’s time to put an end to all this papal infallibility and arrogance. Every day that passes, shut down one Catholic Church in Australia until the vatican changes it’s mind and comes clean. If that does not work then seize all the assets of the rcc in Australia and bleed it dry. There has to be a hardball way of chopping the rcc down to size. And if the rcc continues to resist then what are we to conclude?

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    If you have evidence; arrest.
    If the accused claims to be a foreign representative; deport.
    If an organisation perverts the course of justice; close it down.
    Could any other organisation get away with such behaviour?

  10. why do i have to share this planet with religious idiots says:

    If the Vatican is classed as an independent nation does that mean that rcc priests in Australia are not Aussies but Vaticanese? If yes then deport the priests to the Vatican.

  11. Broga says:

    Some of these comments will not be welcome at the PPC (Papal Broadcasting Corporation.) They prefer soapy, sonorous, vacuous bullshit from RC priests delivered in the presence of a respectful “Our Religious Correspondent.”

  12. AgentCormac says:

    In a written response, the Vatican says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations, adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.

    By ‘inappropriate’ what they really mean is ‘damning’. Deceitful, evil, underhanded bastards.

    BTW, Charlie – if you’re reading this I just left a reply to your question on the previous thread. I think you raised an interesting point about ‘militant atheism’. Might be one to keep going?

  13. Broga says:

    @AgentCormac: I’m a militant atheist by the usual definition but I still don’t want anyone who disagrees with me to spend an eternity sizzling in hell fire. I have come across fundamentalist Christians who delight in anticipating that fate for atheists. What they think they are (gentle Jesus followers) and what they actually feel and how they behave are at odds.

  14. AgentCormac says:

    @Vanity Unfair

    No, there is no other organisation in the world that get away with such behaviour. It is absolutely criminal, and our lily-livered politicians are either too worried about the religious inclinations of their would-be electors or, as would seem to be the case with David Cameron, too in bed with the church, to do anything about it.The normal rules and laws of decency, humanity, humility and, ultimately, honesty do not even feature on the vatican’s radar. This is a cabal without morals, without a conscience and without any interests other than the protection of its own power, wealth and influence.And I defy any catholic to tell me it is otherwise.

  15. Alan says:

    The rich and powerful are always quick to moralise to the rest of us but make sure their own dirty deeds are kept from public scrutiny. Note also how this week the files relating to child abuse (during the 1970s and 1980s) in the higher echelons of Westminster, cannot be found. What a surprise.

  16. Barry Duke says:

    I notice that “Protect the Pope” has gone tits up. One wonders why?

  17. Barry Duke says:

    But Bill Donohue just keeps on going. Today, he’s on about atheist bigots:

  18. RussellW says:

    Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that any action will be taken against the Vatican Mafiosi,as Australia’s current PM Tony Abbott (aka the ‘Mad Monk’) is a devout Catholic.

    All religious institutions should be classified as the corporations they actually are and treated accordingly, after 2000 years why do secular societies still tolerate these ‘States within the State’?

  19. The Vicar says:


    “No, there is no other organisation in the world that get away with such behaviour.”

    I beg to differ. Or did I miss a newsbreak about how Bush, Cheney, and the rest of that administration, as well as Tony Blair and the various U.S. Congress members who voted for the invasion of Iraq, were being turned over to The Hague for causing well over 100000 deaths (by the minimum count) and certainly more than a million people to become refugees? Frankly, if you’re screaming with outrage about the Pope, you ought to be AT LEAST as angry about those people, preferably moreso — the number of people actually KILLED by the RC shenanigans is, even if you include suicides, quite small.

    Oh, but of course the victims were brown-skinned foreigners, so they don’t matter. Forgot for a moment where I was.

  20. Paul Cook says:


    “The rcc is a criminal institution that answers to no nation. It considers itself above the law.”

    It is well documented what the RCC bank does, and what the rcc didn’t do during the Second World War (extermination of the jews, ‘criminals’ gypsies, and just about anyone else the Germans got hold of), and at the end in helping extreme Nazis and German war criminals escape (mainly )to South America. But they also went to the US, Britain and oddly were also going to go to British mandated Palestine!

    As to being above the law their usual reply is we answer to only to god’s law, which, as we all know, is non-existent and quite fanciful – but as it is said with a straight face and enough conviction it is simply accepted by billions would wide. The fact that they act the way they do with such impunity is quite good evidence of how shallow their belief system is that god sees all hears all and knows all.
    Actually ‘god’ appears to see fuck all of any of it.

  21. barriejohn says:

    The Vicar: “Oh, but of course the victims were brown-skinned foreigners, so they don’t matter.”

    I think an apology is in order for that unnecessary slur!

  22. barriejohn says:

    Six victims of Catholic sex abuse are to meet Frankiestein today – AFTER they have attended Mass in the Vatican. I fucking give up, I really do!

  23. Broga says:

    @Alan: I see that the telephone number for the Paedophile Information Exchange was in the Home Office. Seems as if Westminster was/is as attractive to paedophiles as the RC Church. And these are the people making and influencing child care legislation.

    The game plan in the government, as ever, will be to make all the right noises, tell us it must never happen again, offer to hold inquiries etc. etc. But they know that the carnival will move on and the public will get bored and look for a new distraction. The paedophiles are too important to prosecute and will remain.

    The only evidence that this does not happen will be for names to be named and prosecutions to occur. I’m not encouraged by mutterings already from within the government that the response must be “proportionate.” Let me translate that word in political terms. It means such a feeble response that little will happen beyond some token moves.

    Meanwhile we have a holy government that “does religion” and Cabinet Ministers obsessed with ensuring that meetings begin with prayers.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Every time I see an “outraged”Keith Vaz pontificating on TV I want to puke. Here is a man once suspended from the Commons, forced to pay back expenses, involved in umpteen scandals and dodgy deals, and described by one of his colleagues as “a crook of the first order” – yet he is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee (thanks to political shenanigans by Harriet Harperson)! His list of misdemeanours is as long as your arm:

    PS He also supports the campaign to have homoeopathy provided on the NHS.

    What a bunch they are!

  25. Paul Cook says:


    I saw on BBC news Roz Atkins reported frankie says sorry .. I thought it was such a pathetic report to be honest – it was so short and he seemed to say it so fast I almost missed it. But, I do think I saw he had his fingers crossed when he was talking.

  26. Robster says:

    The Vatican a nation? It’s no more than a flash palace full of silly old men in funny hats. All it needs is to be unplugged from the Italian power grid. It’ll vanish just like jesus and god. Pope Frank can then spend endless hours talking to himself, calling it prayer.