"They're Protecting Sexual Predators in God's Name!" Charlie Pickering Slams the Catholic Church for Refusing to Report Confessions of Child Sex Abuse
By Ekin Karasin
Daily Mail Australia
June 20, 2018
Charlie Pickering has criticised the Catholic Church for refusing to adhere to a new law requiring priests to report confessions of child sex abuse.
Adelaide's acting Archbishop Greg O'Kelly said last week that confessionals are 'sacred' and this cannot be changed.
Charlie hit back at the controversial decision on his ABC show The Weekly on Wednesday, claiming the church was 'protecting predators in God's name'.
|'They're protecting sexual predators in God's name!' Charlie Pickering has slammed the Catholic Church for refusing to report confessions of child sex abuse|
'In response to the royal commission… here we have a religious organisation saying publicly - with a straight face - that it considers itself above the law,' Charlie said.
'Now, Greg is the acting Archbishop because his predecessor was convicted of covering up child abuse. [He] said the seal of confession is sacred.
'Well, it is a sacred seal the church has used to protect serial child abusers who landed them in the royal commission in the first place.'
Charlie continued: 'Like Rockhampton priest Father McArdle, who confessed 1,500 times to molesting children to 30 different priests over a 25-year period.
|Controversial: Adelaide's acting Archbishop Greg O'Kelly said last week that confessionals are 'sacred' and this cannot be changed|
'He was forgiven 1,500 times and told merely to go home and pray. That, according to the church, is sacred and none of our business.'
Charlie also blasted the Catholic Church for choosing to follow certain laws while refusing to abide by others.
'The church is fine with laws that protect it from paying tax but refuses to abide a law designed to protect innocent children from abuse,' he said.
'Victims could be left without proper justice while abusers are able to alleviate their guilt and shame. Rather than protecting victims from predators, they are protecting the predators and doing it in God's name.'
|Not impressed: Charlie hit back at the controversial decision on his ABC show The Weekly on Wednesday, claiming the church was 'protecting predators in God's name'|
Charlie added: 'Now, I can't say what I really want to say because I am subject to the law. But maybe I should swing by his confessional because apparently there I can get away with anything.'
Under the new law, set to take effect in October, priests who hear confessions about child abuse will have a legal obligation to report the matter to police.
Not reporting abuse will carry a maximum $10,000 fine, and brings expectations of priests in line with those of social workers, teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority.