Royal Commission holds its 5,000th private session
The Royal Commission has just completed its 5,000th private session which took place in Brisbane with a man in his 60's who shared his experience of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care in the 1960s.
As well as completing its 5,000th private session, the Royal Commission has now made over 1,000 referrals to authorities, including police.
This week I met up with Baroness Sheila Hollins from the UK. She is a member of the House of Lords and has been appointed to Pope Francis' Commission for the Protection of Minors. She was part of the Vatican team sent to Ireland to inquire into the Diocese of Armagh.
Baroness Hollins speaks gently and frankly about the enormous task facing the global Catholic Church to address child abuse and to prevent it happening again.
Ribbons tied around St Patrick's Cathedral as part of the Loud Fence movement will eventually be removed and kept together to be part of permanent displays in order to preserve them in their bright and colourful state.
While ribbons have been removed from St Patrick's College, Ballarat Diocese Vicar General Justin Driscol said the ribbons on St Patrick's Cathedral are not his to remove... But he said he was hopeful that if a decision was made for the ribbons to come down, it will involve survivors and Loud Fence.
Adults Surviving Child Abuse changes name to Blue Knot Foundation
The child sexual abuse advocacy and support group, Adults Surviving Child Abuse has changed its name to Blue Knot Foundation.
Dr Cathy Kezelman, President of the Foundation, said the name reflects the evolution of our work within the childhood trauma arena and follows a successful resolution at the Annual General Meeting in November 2015.
When it comes to child protection and the issue of child sex abuse in the church, Pope Francis 'gets it' and so does Cardinal O'Malley according to Sheila Hollins, who is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
But she says the Pope probably expects local bishops to take the lead on a response to the scourge.
Representatives from the Truth Justice and Healing Council and Catholic agencies who provide out of home care were among the 40 or so people who attended the Association of Child Welfare Agencies' consultation forum in Sydney on Monday to discuss the Royal Commission's paper on out-of-home care (OOHC) released earlier this month.
Commissioner, Robert Fitzgerald updated delegates on the Commission's work so far, noting that this consultation paper will probably be the Commission's last request for feedback on this important issue. Delegates also heard from the Office of the Children's Guardian and from Steve Kinmond, Deputy Omudsman, NSW.
The Truth Justice and Healing Council is coordinating the response to the Commission's paper from Catholic Church agencies and will now make a submission on 29 April.