The big news this week has been the decision by Royal Commission Chair Justice McClellan, to hear Cardinal Pell's evidence by video from Rome. He also agreed to Bishop Mulkearns' request to give evidence, albeit in constrained circumstances.
Meanwhile the confusion over the Federal Government's redress announcement is beginning to bite. Even though the general thrust of the announcement aligned with the second-best option from the Royal Commission on the provision of national redress, it is still very unclear to what degree the Commonwealth Government will support nationally consistent state-based schemes.
Part III of the Ballarat hearing will start in just over a week on 22 February. The Royal Commission directions hearing determined that Bishop Mulkearns will give evidence by video at that hearing. Cardinal George Pell will give evidence by video from Rome from 8:00am from 29 February.
TJHC reiterates Bishops' moral obligation to report CSA
Australian Bishops and Religious Leaders are morally obliged to do everything they can to ensure police are aware of incidents of child sex abuse.
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council made the statement today following the publication of an article in Crux magazine and in The Guardian this week.
The articles say that the Catholic Church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is 'not necessarily' their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.
A group of parishioners from Stella Maris Parish has set up a Loud Fence at St Mary's in Budderim in a show of solidarity for survivors of abuse. The group hopes ofther Loud Fences will spring up so that victims now living on the Sunshine Coast will be assured that they are acknowledged, supported and welcome wherever the ribbons are displayed publicly. Group organisers said it was appropriate the first ribbons were hung on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Year of Mercy.