Sexual Abuse, a Royal Commission, and the Australian Church
Despite recent signs of change, the Indian church was rather reluctant to acknowledge the clerical sexual abuse scandal as its own problem. In the Indian context, the scandal entails not only the abuse of minors, but also the abuse of women and other vulnerable adults by church personnel. The hierarchical structure of Indian society, gender relations based on patriarchy, and postcolonial attitudes provide a fertile ground for abuse. Clericalism, centralization of power in the church, and continuing negative attitudes to sexuality are further contributing factors. The clerical sexual abuse scandal calls for developing new ethical horizons based on a theology of a participatory church, and a reconsideration of the church’s attitude to sexuality and gender relations.