Clergy victims need justice now

To prevent further harm, there must be an independent inquiry into sexual assault and the Catholic Church.

The state government's decision last week to put on hold a public inquiry into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is unconscionable and carries a serious risk of further suicides by victims of clergy sexual assault.

A Ballarat detective discovered the names of some 26 Victorian men who committed suicide in the years following sexual abuse by one or both of the notorious paedophiles Brother Robert Best and Father Gerald Ridsdale. Details of these suicides were included in a background research paper I wrote, and which was presented to Attorney-General Robert Clark in August as part of a submission requesting that the government hold an independent inquiry into the church. Clark told the ABC he was ''taking these issues very seriously''.

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