Whenever child sexual abuse by clergy is revealed, the church involved always says that these things happened decades ago, and that procedures are in place to ensure such crimes can no longer occur. This has been the theme at the recent New South Wales State government and Victorian State Parliamentary enquiries. It has also been used by the Catholic and Anglican churches, the YMCA and Scouts Australia at the hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
At the Royal Commission hearings, due to begin 28th January, the Salvation Army is most likely to say the same thing about abuses at its Children’s Homes.
However, such things are still occurring in recent years, not just recent decades. Further, since the Salvation Army is a multinational organisation, operating in 126 countries at last count, the total number of such recent offences is very large. Because a full coverage would constitute a book, a few cases have been selected, randomly (really!), from the many reported elsewhere.
When caught out in these more recent cases, the response has been altered to indicate, usually, that the organisation is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities, and reviewing its practices. It also is in the habit of claiming these are very rare, isolated cases. The Salvation Army’s many corporate business “partners” are having to review their associations with the organisation. For example, Target stores have banned the Salvo’s “red kettle” collections at Christmas outside its stores.
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