Challenges for the Catholic Church as it faces the Royal Commission
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council, has given a wide-ranging speech to more than 100 guests as part of the Australian Catholic University's Blackfriars Lecture Series in Canberra this week.
The speech highlighted what has been learnt about the way in which Catholic Church institutions have responded to allegations of child sexual abuse over the past two and a half years of Royal Commission public hearings.
It also identifies and addresses some of the cultural issues within the Church which may have been factors contributing to the abuse crisis.
Blackfriars speech, new CSA evidence laws, Blue Knot Day
This week the NSW Government introduced new laws to make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to give evidence in court.
On Tuesday I gave a speech at the ACU in Canberra where I spoke about many different issues confronting the Church as we come to terms with our history of child sex abuse.
This coming Monday is Blue Knot Day, the day in which survivors of child sexual abuse are acknowledged and the community is asked to support initiatives that help them recover. The day is organised by ASCA which this year is asking local communities to unite in support of the adult survivors living among them.
There will be a Liturgy of the Word in St Patrick's Cathedral Ballarat on 1st November at 2pm.
The gathering, organised by a small group of women who sat at the Royal Commission hearing in Ballarat, is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with victims of abuse. "We as a People need to lament before we can begin to heal,' they said.
The Bishop, secondary students, survivors and people from all parts of the Diocese are involved. The theme is darkness to light.
Royal Commission publishes police and prosecution submissions
The Royal Commission has published submissions to its issues paper on police and prosecution responses to institutional child sexual abuse.
The submissions reflect the importance the community places on issues of criminal justice and indicate the community's concern over institutional failures in reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of abuse.
Catholic Social Services Australia National Conference Canberra
More than 50 leaders from the national network of Catholic social services meet in Canberra this week.
Francis Sullivan spoke to the group about the important work they do and the need for them to collaborate with dioceses and religious orders to promote better resources for the pastoral care of child sexual abuse survivors.
Even though 1 in 4 adults in Australia have experienced childhood trauma and abuse, little is spoken of the issue and stigma overshadows.
However, recovery is possible. Join ASCA this Blue Knot Day Monday 26th October 2015 to spread the message of hope and optimism.
This year's Blue Knot Day theme is "supportive communities help survivors recover". ASCA is asking local communities to unite in support of adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse living among them.