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In relation to covering up child sex abuse, other religions are just as culpable as the Roman Catholic Church.
Eamonn McCann, 31 Aug 2012
Catholic commentators who complain that their Church is being picked on when it comes to child sex abuse have a point. What about Jews? And Muslims. Etc.
Rabbi Isroel Belski of New Jersey said of one sex abuse allegation: “My ears should have been spared hearing the horrific news...the Jewish law is undisputed that one who commits such an act has no share in the world to come.”
He was referring to a Jew who had reported abuse to the police.
“...hearing the horrific news that one of our fellow residents in town informed upon a fellow Jew to the secular authorities, may God spare us, for which the Jewish law is undisputed that one who commits such an act...”
An echo of Ireland there. But par, too, for the Judean course.
A spate of abuse allegations emerged from the Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey and New York in the last five years after a number of victims came forward and gave others confidence to speak out. Eighty-three men and two women have been charged with sexual assaults on 117 male and female victims. Eighty-nine of the victims were 16 or under.
Fourteen abusers have been jailed for terms ranging from one month to 20 years. Another 47 cases are pending. Twenty trials collapsed as a result of victims withdrawing evidence – in almost all instances, according to prosecutors, because of pressure from religious leaders.
The Jewish community in Australia has been facing a similar surge of abuse claims. The Melbourne Age reports that a number of men named in victims’ statements have been spirited out of the country by Orthodox Jewish groups and are being looked after by co-religionists in the US.
We know that one, too.
Allegations against rabbis and other religious functionaries have also come to court or are pending in countries including Israel, Canada, New Zealand and Venezuela.
Eastbourne man Phil Johnson suffered a nine-year abuse ordeal at the hands of two Anglican priests. One died awaiting trial, the other was convicted in 2008 – 11 years after Johnston had first gone to the police. It wasn’t until another victim came forward that a serious investigation was launched. It then emerged that one of the vicars had had a previous conviction which had been known all along to the Anglican authorities.