Australian bishop says he suffered sexual abuse at hands of Catholic clergy

Vincent Long Van Nguyen says that, as an adult, he endured abuse that made him empathise with other victims

Australian Associated Press/February 12, 2017

The Catholic bishop of Parramatta has gone public for the first time about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of clergy.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen talked about the abuse at a royal commission hearing in Sydney and called on the church to consider removing priests’ honorifics and giving parishioners more power.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult,” the former refugee told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday.

“That had a powerful impact on me and how I want to … walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Long, the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, was applauded throughout his testimony. Child sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones approached him afterwards. Some cried as they spoke to him.

He said titles, privileges and the church’s institutional dynamics “breed clerical superiority and elitism”.

He also said he had some degree of confidence that most of the survivors whose cases had been handled by the Parramatta diocese since his arrival were happy with how they had been treated.

“How can I look at these victims in the eyes and say I share your pain, I share your suffering without doing everything in my power to bring about justice, dignity and healing for them?” he said.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.

Educational DVDs and Videos