Friday, February 03, 2017

Australian Catholic Church warns congregation ahead of final 'grim' royal commission hearing

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart leads worshippersCatholic Church leaders throughout Australia are warning church-goers and school parents about the release of data on Monday at the child sex abuse royal commission, describing it as an "horrific portrait of appalling abuse".

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge was so concerned about the impact of the statistics relating to the extent of reported abuse within the Catholic Church, he emailed a video message to tens of thousands of Catholic school parents.

"The royal commission is about to hold its final hearing into the Catholic Church which will be a very challenging time," he said in the video.
"My sincere hope is that all the blood, sweat and tears will produce justice and healing and ensure that the future is much safer for the young than the past has been."
Archbishop Coleridge's video message will be played in more than 200 churches in the Brisbane diocese throughout the weekend.

The Townsville diocese will also play the message in each of its parishes for this weekend's masses. 

The 68-year-old archbishop said in his message there would be some "grim moments and some shocks" in the royal commission's final hearing into the Catholic Church. 

"We have to shift the culture and that's a far more difficult thing to do," Archbishop Coleridge said.

Letters from the senior Archbishop read across the country


One of the nation's most senior Catholic leaders, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Denis Hart, has written to 42 bishops throughout the country. 

The letter is set to be read out in masses around the country, including the larger archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney.

He wrote:
"For the victims and survivors, for the Catholic community and for many in the wider Australian community, this hearing may be a difficult and even distressing time … deeply mindful of the hurt and pain caused by abuse, I once again offer my apology on behalf of the Catholic Church."
Archbishop Hart quoted Pope Francis, writing: "It is the sin that shames us."

A spokeswoman for the Archbishop of Sydney told the ABC that priests had been asked to read out Archbishop Hart's letter, to make themselves available for questions from concerned church-goers and to refer anyone with specific concerns to the church's Safeguarding Children office.

Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White has written to school principals and every school parent, promising a "total commitment to respond to the recommendations of the royal commission in a proactive and positive way".

In the letter to tens of thousands of parents attending Sydney's Catholic schools, Dr White included a link to a new online child protection resource.

The hearing will run for approximately three weeks in Sydney from Monday.

1 comment:

mefein said...

Not surprised at all. Priests would still be abusing children only were caught - over privileged religious institution and covered up at the highest level. Existing institution needs to be wound down and die and all money to go to poor and victims. The priests should be in jail. Sad!