Sex Abuse Battle: Catholic Priest Calls on Public to Join Crusade
By Kaitlyn Opie
September 14, 2013
SACRED Heart Mildura parish priest Michael McKinnon is hoping to eradicate sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
He has called on Sunraysia people to sign a petition that seeks to implement a list of policy changes aimed at preventing sexual abuse, and improving the Church's response to incidents.
The cause is especially close to Father McKinnon's heart – three of his siblings were abused growing up.
Father McKinnon, who was ordained as a priest in 1981, said he had no knowledge of the abuse until his siblings opened up about it a few years ago.
“But in hindsight, there were indicators there and so I have a particular interest and sense of justice needing to be done,” he said.
“My sister has experienced anger and hurt and has made it clear to me that that is not directed at me as a Catholic priest.
“But if you take on an appointed role within the Church, you feel responsible.”
Father McKinnon said the Catholic Church had responded “very poorly” to victims of sexual abuse in the past.
He said the Church needed to deal openly with offenders and reach out to victims with compassion.
For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 14/09/2013.