Pope Francis names replacement for Australian archbishop who covered up abuse

Pope Francis has appointed Gregory O’Kelly, the bishop of Port Pirie, the special administrator of Adelaide following the conviction of Archbishop Philip Wilson for covering up child sex crimes during the 1970s.

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Catholic Church signs up to Redress Scheme for Child Abuse Victims

The Catholic Church has signed up to the federal government’s national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The scheme will take effect from July and requires the states and territories as well as non-government organisations such as churches and charities to opt into the scheme and agree to pay victims abused within their organisations up to $150,000 compensation.

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Buddhist group admits sexual abuse by teachers

One of the west’s largest Buddhist organisations has admitted to sexual abuse by its teachers, announcing it will take urgent measures to tackle the problem. Leaders of Shambhala International, which has more than 200 meditation centres across the world, including several in Australia, admitted to major failures in how it dealt with “abhorrent sexual behaviour”.

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An expert on faith-based abuse talks about how Buddhists can address sexual misconduct

Michael Salter is a criminologist specializing in gendered violence, child abuse, and mental health. He is also a lecturer in criminology and member of the Centre for Health Research at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. Ten years ago, he started researching the benefits of meditation for child abuse survivors, and, in doing so, found a personal connection to Buddhism. He says that Buddhism has provided him with the compassion and stability he needs to do his work as a criminologist. Dr Michael Salter was also involved in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Clerical Culture, Religious Organisations and the Royal Commission Report


University of Melbourne Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Australia – Victoria Branch, conducted an extensive presentation into clerical culture and its effect on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) at Melbourne University on Tuesday 6th February 2018. The presentation was well attended.

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Appraising the Royal Commission Report into Sexual Abuse and Religious Organisations


University of Melbourne Chaplaincy and Religions for Peace Australia – Victoria Branch, invite you to attend a you to a FREE lecture on Tuesday 6th February 2018 on Appraising the Royal Commission Report into Sexual Abuse and Religious Organisations.

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Buddhism: How You Can Support a Victim of Clergy Sexual Misconduct

Clergy sexual misconduct is defined as sexual advances or propositions made by religious leaders to a person in the congregations they serve (who are not their spouses or significant others). Misconduct includes such actions as minor as a proposition, up to and including sexual intercourse. Buddhist sanghas are as prone to this kind of misconduct as any other religious community.

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After allegations, Sogyal Rinpoche retires from Rigpa

Following discussion of allegations of abuse, Sogyal Rinpoche, Buddhist teacher and author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, “has decided, with immediate effect, to retire as spiritual director from all the organizations that bear the name of Rigpa in different countries around the world,” according to a press release from the organization dated today.

Read moreAfter allegations, Sogyal Rinpoche retires from Rigpa

Buddhist Monk to “step back” after allegations of decades of abuse

Over several years, Religions for Peace Australia has provided a select coverage the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as a service to the community documenting the examination – and responses – of non-Christian religions. No religion in Australia is above criminal law and the proper exercise of lawful duty and responsibility in the public domain. In this wise, we bring account of one Buddhist Rinpoche and allegations – albeit in another nation – as part of community service.

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Royal Commission: Research finds misconceptions about memory may affect child sexual abuse prosecutions

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report about how memory affects child sexual abuse prosecutions.

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Research identifies four dimensions of risk of child sexual abuse in institutional settings

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report that identifies four dimensions of risk of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

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Royal Commission: Address to National Council of Churches

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Every major Australian church has been cautioned to better protect children or risk illegitimacy. In a speech to the National Council of Churches, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chairman Justice Peter McClellan urged religious leaders to act on his recommendations.

“What we can be certain of is that any institution which does not acknowledge past wrongs and the need for change will lose the confidence of Australians,” he said via a recorded video.

“The community will not accept the legitimacy of any institution which does not give priority to the safety and wellbeing of the children for which it has responsibility.”

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Royal Commission: Justice for Victims Part 1

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseReligions and faith systems have social justice as a pivotal centre from which many activities in a faith community arise therefrom and become part of the active compassion taken up by that faith system or religion in society and culture. In examining justice for victims of sexual abuse in institutions, the Royal Commission is required to respond to the directive of the Federal Executive and the Parliament “what institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through … processes for referral for investigation and prosecution“.

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Child sexual abuse royal commission: What’s happened and when is it due to finish?


The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has come a long way since it first began hearings in April 2013. Since then, it’s made almost 2,000 referrals to authorities, held more than 6,500 private sessions, and handled almost 40,000 phone calls. But with so much ground to cover, where is it up to now and what’s left to go?

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Royal Commission: Public hearing into nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse in institutions

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseThe Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing commencing Monday 27 March 2017 in Sydney.
The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into the nature of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in Australia and how community understanding of abuse has changed over time. Other necessary factors will also be examined by this public hearing.

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Royal Commission to hold final hearing into Australian Catholic Church



The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse. The public hearing will commence on 6 February 2017 at the Royal Commission’s hearing rooms in Sydney.

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Royal Commission: Rabbinic Council member resigns in wake of Royal Commission findings

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseA Melbourne rabbi has resigned from one of the most senior Jewish bodies in Australia in the wake of the child abuse royal commission. Rabbi Shimshon Yurkowicz was a trustee of Yeshivah Centre, which was strongly criticised by the commission for its failure to stop paedophiles preying on children.

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Royal Commission releases report into Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseThe Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 22 – the response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions – was released on 29 November 2016.

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