The Church, in its right of reply to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations, says prominent critics of its handling of child sex abuse cases have fabricated evidence. It also claims parliamentarians have failed to personally investigate crucial facts, reports The Australian.
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne executive director Francis Moore has launched the reply against the Victorian parliamentary committee amid growing doubts about key evidence submitted to the inquiry and the openness and accountability of the investigation.
Mr Moore claimed the committee had seriously overstated the numbers of witnesses who appeared before the inquiry who were actually part of the church's complaints-based systems.
He also questioned whether members of the parliamentary committee had bothered to personally access key Church documents open for the committee's evaluation.
The inquiry is facing sustained criticism from the Church for failing to conduct an open and accountable investigation, including refusing to publish 200 of the 405 written submissions.
Mr Moore contends that only 50 primary victims associated with either the Melbourne Response complaints-based system or the Towards Healing system had made either written submissions or given public evidence to the inquiry.
Committee chairwoman Georgie Crozier told a public hearing in April that the committee had seen 'over 140 victims' who had been 'highly dissatisfied with the process.'
FACING THE TRUTH
Read the Church's response to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of Child Abuse