Gillard Government Under Pressure to Set Up Sex Abuse Inquiry

CANBERRA

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is facing growing pressure to set up a national royal commission into allegations of child abuse within the Catholic Church, according to local media.

The campaign against child abuse of the Catholic Church has been fueled by last week’s explosive allegations by a senior New South Wales police investigator, who said the church had been involved in covering up evidence involving paedophile priests.


New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has set up an inquiry to investigate the claims, but an online petition has been launched this morning by a group including lawyer Josh Bornstein and retired Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire, calling on Gillard to act on the “irrefutable” evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children within the church.

Labor backbenchers have begun voicing their support for such a move. And the Greens are also calling for a royal commission, declaring the issue demands a national response.

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