An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended on Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of paedophilia heard in the confessional.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final 17-volume report and 189 recommendations following a wide-ranging investigation. Australia’s longest-running royal commission — which is the country’s highest form of inquiry — has been investigating since 2012 how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years.
The report heard the testimonies of more than 8,000 survivors of child sex abuse. Of those who were abused in religious institutions, 62 percent were Catholics.
“We have concluded that there were catastrophic failures of leadership of Catholic Church authorities over many decades,” the report said.