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John 13:34

love one another as I have loved you

John 13:34

Monday, November 30, 2015

Melbourne hearing, CSA research, Frankly speaking and more

Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

November 2015
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Commission hearing into Melbourne Archdiocese starts this week

The First week of the Royal Commission's public hearing into the Archdiocese of Melbourne finishes today.

this is the 35th public hearing and the 12th into a Catholic institution since the Commission started public hearings in September 2013.

Again it is incumbent on all Church witnesses appearing before the hearing to be fully cooperative and to speak the truth without defensiveness or anger.

You can read all the witness statements, transcripts and documents being entered into evidence on the Commission website.

Read public hearing info here

European church leaders gather to discuss child sexual abuse

Church leaders and child protection experts from 13 East and West European nations gathered in Luxembourg  last week for the start of a conference entitled 'One Crisis – Different Responses'.

It is part of the Council of Europe's first European Day on the Protection of Children against sexual exploitation and abuse.

While Churches in some countries represented at the conference have been dealing with the clerical sex abuse crisis for decades, others are only just beginning to recognize the damage done to victims, families and the wider parish or religious communities.

Read Council of Europe media release
18 November 2015

Listen to interview on confernece with Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg

Child protection conference concludes in Trier
Vatican Radio - 21 November, 2015

More info on Council of Europe child protection day

Read report from Vatican Radio
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Frankly speaking...

We are now at the end of the first week of the Commission's hearing into the way in which the Archdiocese of Melbourne dealt with years of abuse that took place in the Doveton Parish in outer suburban Melbourne.  And this week we also released our guidelines on how church authorities being sued for child sexual abuse claims should behave during the legal process. 

Latest from the Council

Church guidelines for responding to civil claims for child sexual abuse

Guidelines for how Church authorities should respond when claims of child sexual abuse are made against them have been released this week.

The guidelines, which have been endorsed by the Church leadership, will come into effect from 1 January 2016 and are designed to promote justice and consistency in the way the Church handles child sexual abuse claims and conduct litigation when taken to court.

They also include a requirement for Church dioceses or religious orders to assist a claimant to identify the correct defendant to respond to legal proceedings.

Read TJHC media release

Misperceptions about child sex offenders

Sexual offending against children is a highly emotive issue so it is important public policy initiatives to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse are based on the available evidence.

This 2011 paper by researcher, Kelly Richards, addresses five common misperceptions about the perpetrators of sexual offences against children including whether all child sex offenders are 'paedophiles', who sexually abuse children, whether most child sex offenders were victims of sexual abuse themselves, rates of recidivism among child sex offenders and the number of children sex offenders typically abuse before they are detected by police.

Read Research

TJHC in consultation with Churches

The TJHC met with chancellors, vicars general and child protection professionals from NSW dioceses last week to map what lies ahead for the Catholic Church as the work of the Royal Commission continues.

At a separate meeting the Council met with other Churches in Sydney last week to talk about shared concerns such as response to victims, the need for a national redress scheme, data collection and policy developments.

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Scotland's bishops produce abuse action plan

Scotland's bishops have agreed on an action plan in response to an independent review of the Catholic Church's handling of abuse allegations, according to reports.

In August, a commission led by the Very Rev Andrew McLellan made eight recommendations, including that justice must be done for those who have been abused and that the Church's safeguarding policies and practices be completely rewritten and subject to external scrutiny.

Read plan for implementing the recommendations of the McLellan report

Bishops 'produce action plan after abuse claims response review'
Scottish Herald - 21 November 2015

Read Catholic Scottish Observer report
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