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John 13:34

love one another as I have loved you

John 13:34

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Frankly Speaking Blog, Forgotten Australians study and more

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February 2015
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Royal Commission: McClellan launches Forgotten Australians Study

Peter McClellan, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has launched the first national research study examining the experiences of children in the care of Australian childhood institutions or in out of home care from 1930 – 1989 at the University of New South Wales on Wednesday 18 February.

"For many children who have spent time in institutions, their experiences were characterised by neglect, maltreatment, deprivation and loss of identity, making the transition into adulthood especially challenging. These children were again forgotten when it came time for them to leave the institution. They were left to fend for themselves having had no preparation for life in the 'outside world'. For some the trauma of their experience may never go away," he said while launching the report.

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Frankly speaking...

While sharing lunch with around 40 survivors of child abuse at Lotus Place in Brisbane last week I was reminded, and deeply saddened, by the devastating, long-term impact of child abuse.

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Catholic Church case studies published

The Royal Commission last week published its findings in three case studies involving the Catholic Church:

Report of Case Study 4: The experiences of four survivors with the Towards Healing process
Report of Case Study No. 6: The response of a primary school and the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office to the conduct of Gerard Byrnes
Report of Case Study 8: Mr John Ellis's experience of the Towards Healing process and civil litigation

In its report on Case Study 4 the Royal Commission has indicated that systemic issues concerning Towards Healing will be the subject of further consideration including examination of the separation of the responsible Church authority from investigation/assessment of a complaint, the separation of the pastoral response from the payment of reparation and the involvement of the Church authority in decisions about the amount of reparation paid.

The Toowoomba case study examined the response by the principal and other members of staff of a Catholic primary school in Toowoomba to allegations of child sexual abuse made against a teacher. It also looked at the response by officers of the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Toowoomba (TCEO), to information supplied by the primary school principal regarding the allegations.

The Commissioners found that then Toowoomba Bishop William Morris responded appropriately when advised of the offending and the response of the school and TCEO to earlier allegations, by commissioning an independent investigation, appointing an independent mediator for the purpose of assessing and advising on reparations and establishing a Child Abuse Response Team to advise on improvements to child protection.

In the Ellis case study the Royal Commission found the Archdiocese of Sydney in some respects failed Mr Ellis in its conduct of the Towards Healing process. It also agreed with Cardinal Pell's assessment that the Archdiocese had not acted fairly from a Christian point of view in the way it defended the litigation brought by Mr Ellis.

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Sexual abuse prevention centre moves to Rome's Gregorian University

A Vatican-connected academic institute that works to educate seminarians, priests and laypeople on preventing sexual abuse has moved operations from Germany to Rome in an effort to influence the church's work on the issue globally.

In other news Pope Francis has appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, His Excellency the Most Rev. Adolfo Tito Yllana, titular Archbishop of Montecorvino and until now Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more

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Out-of-home care report released

The Royal Commission has released a report examining the effectiveness of practices in out-of-home care in preventing child sexual abuse within institutions.

The report, prepared by the Parenting Research Centre and the University of Melbourne, makes findings which will be used to shape the Royal Commission's final recommendations.

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Coming up

25 FEBRUARY 2015
Francis Sullivan will be visiting the Hunter region to speak with  parishioners, clergy and staff  in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.

The two information sessions will be held at:
Victor Peters Suite, near the Diocesan Offices,
841 Hunter Street, Newcastle West.
The first session will begin at 10am and the second at 12:45pm.

12 MARCH 2015
Pints of Faith  - Hobart TAS 
124 Davey Street, Hobart
Francis Sullivan to talk about the Royal Commission and the work of the TJHC

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