The Roman Catholic Church in Australia's state of Victoria admits to up to 620 cases of child sex abuse, dating back to the 1930s. The Church said 74 clergy members in Melbourne were involved in the abuse, and that most of the crimes were committed in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
News and stories of sexual abuse of children by priests are shamefully frequent the world over. Earlier this month, a US Bishop Robert W. Finn was found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse by a Rev. Shawn Ratigan, hence becoming the first Roman Catholic bishop in America to be convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.
Similarly in 2004 a report commissioned and funded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was issued. The report stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002.
In August 2011 Broken Rites, a support and advocacy group for church-related sex abuse victims in Australia, announced in a report that there have been over one hundred cases of Catholic priests being charged for child sex offences in the country.
The Vatican, hit by a wave of sex abuse cases across the globe, has also called for an inquiry into the crimes.