Analysis of claims of child sexual abuse made with respect to Catholic Church institutions in Australia

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

February 2017

ISBN 978-1-925622-04-1

Executive summary

The Royal Commission has conducted a comprehensive survey of Catholic Church authorities in Australia to gather data about the extent of claims of child sexual abuse made against Catholic Church personnel.

The Royal Commission gathered data from three sources:

  1. Data from Catholic Church authorities in Australia regarding claims of child sexual abuse made against Catholic Church personnel.

  2. Data from 10 Catholic religious institutes in Australia regarding the total number of people who were members of these institutes and who ministered in Australia between 1950 and 2010 (which when analysed in conjunction with the claims data enabled calculation of the proportion of these non-ordained religious who were alleged perpetrators). 

  3. Data from 75 Catholic Church authorities in Australia who have priest members regarding the total number of priests who were members of their authority and who ministered as Catholic priests in Australia between 1950 and 2010 (which when analysed in conjunction with the claims data enabled calculation of the proportion of these priests who were alleged perpetrators).

The Royal Commission contracted Sphere Company to develop each of the surveys necessary for the data collection; clean and analyse the data; and produce this report.