The Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane would support statutory change to introduce mandatory reporting of cases of suspected child sex abuse. The Archdiocesan Education authorities already comply with similar statutory mandatory reporting.
The issue is more about who should be under the statutory obligation. I would be happy for representatives of the Archdiocese to engage with the Inquiry led by the Honourable Tim Carmody SC to help identify appropriate persons within the Church who should be the subject of the statutory obligation. I will therefore ask the appropriate people in the Archdiocese to prepare a written submission for the Inquiry on this issue.
The sexual abuse of the young is a heinous criminal offence. Clergy or others in authority within the Church who are guilty of this crime have no place in Church ministry and should be subjected to the full processes of the criminal law. It is appropriate that suspected cases of such abuse be reported to the police so that they can be fully investigated with a view to justice being done.
Most Rev Mark Coleridge
Archbishop of Brisbane
Released August 14, 2012