Around 50 people came out last Thursday night for a parish meeting in the St Mary's Cathedral Parish Centre in Hobart to talk about the Royal Commission, the Catholic Church and the role of the Truth Justice and Healing Council.
The interest in these sorts of meetings continues to be very strong. So far around 70 different organisations and parishes have invited the TJHC CEO Francis Sullivan to talk about the work currently underway in the Church to develop better policies to protect children and better ways of dealing fairly and compassionately with survivors of child sexual abuse.
If you would like Francis to come to your parish or organisation then contact the TJHC office on 02 6234 0900 or email a request to email@example.com
Last week's meeting with St Mary's Parish in Hobart was one of the many talks I do around Australia – simply to talk to ordinary Catholics about what the Council is doing, why we're doing it, what we can expect from the whole Royal Commission process.
The Catholic Archbishop of Perth says a new project to protect children from child abuse is his major priority during his time in the role.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe said the Safeguarding Project, believed to be the first of its kind nationally, has been launched in response to what he described as the "terrible scandal of sexual abuse of children" in the care of the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Costelloe said while the church would respond to issues raised in the Royal Commission, it was important to act now.
"I regard this possibly as the major priority in my time as the Archbishop, we simply have to get this right," he said.
The Guardian reports an American archbishop in Minnesota and a deputy bishop have resigned from the Catholic church just days after their archdiocese in St Paul and Minneapolis was charged by prosecutors with systematically turning a blind eye to sex abuse by a pedophile priest. Abuse survivors praised the Vatican's latest actions as the most concrete steps Pope Francis has taken to institute accountability for sex abuse.
Background: Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors
The National Catholic Reporter reports that the Holy See has published the statutes for the Commission for the Protection of Minors, giving that body canonical and juridical status within the Roman Curia. It may not seem like they are very earth-shattering or, in the event, Church-shattering, but they are, the report says.
The Royal Commission is calling on anyone who has experienced or who has information regarding child sexual abuse in institutions across all parts of the entertainment industry.
This could include TV networks, film and television production companies, theatrical production companies, dance, drama and performing arts schools or colleges, casting agencies or any other public or private organisation.
NSW Budget to include $200M for care of vulnerable children
The Sydney Morning Herald reports NSW Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard is expected to announce this week that next Tuesday's state Budget will include an extra $200 million over four years for the care of vulnerable children, due to an increase of 800 children in out-of-home care in the past year.