What’s the difference between a koala and a paedophile?
Nobody wants to hug a paedophile.
True, but there is another difference. In Australia right now, some paedophiles enjoy more protection than koalas.
Child molesters are currently receiving protection form religious organisations such as the Catholic Church. Historical records have revealed that many guilty child molesters were not prosecuted for their crimes, and were simply moved to another parish or district, where many of them offended again.
These facts came to light during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Another revelation was the protection paedophiles receive within confession. The law of the Catholic Church states that anything that is said by a person to a priest in confession is between the confessor, the priest and God. Therefore, if a person admits to committing child abuse during confession, that crime will not be reported to police.
The Royal Commission attempted to change this law. A recommendation attempted to force priests to report admissions of child abuse to police in order to help reduce or eliminate acts of child abuse in the future. Senior figures within the Catholic Church have since publicly stated that they will refuse to pass on admissions of crimes to police, even though this is blatantly breaking the law.
Church authorities are adamant that they will protect the sanctity and secrecy of confession – rather than protect victims of child abuse.
Koalas, meanwhile, are being offered very little protection in Australia. Such is the state of the koala population throughout the country that experts claim our national symbol could become extinct by 2050.
Koalas suffered massively during the most recent bush fires, and will not get their homes back until the charred bush land regenerates, which could take many years. Further habitat is being destroyed by rampant land clearing throughout the country.
The animals are regularly killed by feral animals such as wild dogs and are victims of road accidents, especially at night. Shrinking habitat due to urban expansion has caused a shortage of food and damage to their gene pool which provokes diseases. Drought leaves them with insufficient water to drink and excessive, unseasonal heat kills them.
The cuddly and lovable animals are also under threat from specific resource projects, including:
Brandy Hill quarry extension in Port Stephens, NSW
Shenhua Watermark coalmine near Gunnedah, NSW
Blueberry farming around Coffs Harbour, NSW
Land clearing in north-west NSW.
Child abusers, meanwhile, are also receiving financial support. Australian taxpayers fund religious organisations and religious organisations often pay no tax, because they are religious organisations. Koalas, meanwhile, are losing their habitat and their lives because countless programs and organisations designed to protect them are being de-funded or under-funded.
Current environmental policies in Australia, and the refusal of church organisations to report child abuse to authorities, indicates that some paedophiles are more of a protected species that koalas.
Perhaps we need to dress koalas in a cloak and collar.