New Zealand’s Catholic church admits 14% of clergy have been accused of abuse since 1950

Source: The Guardian

By Eva Corlett in Auckand; @evacorlett

New Zealand’s Catholic church has admitted that 14% of its diocesan clergy have been accused of abusing children and adults since 1950.

The church released the figures at the request of the royal commission on abuse in care, set up in 2018 by prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who said the country needed to confront “a dark chapter” in its history, and later expanded it to include churches and other faith-based institutions.

An image of a little hand pushed against textured glass

An interim report by the commission in December found up to a quarter of a million children, young people and vulnerable adults were physically and sexually abused in New Zealand’s faith-based and state care institutions from the 1960s to early 2000s.

Te Rōpū Tautoko, the group that coordinates church engagement with the royal commission, sought and examined records from the country’s six Catholic dioceses and from 43 Catholic religious congregations (also known as religious institutes, orders or associations). The research included records of 428 Catholic parishes, 370 Catholic schools and 67 other care institutions.

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