In his keynote address to the Council of Newman College in Melbourne last week, TJHC CEO Francis Sullivan talked about elements of the Church's culture which have been identified throughout Royal Commission public hearings as having played a key role in the child sexual abuse crisis, including secrecy and silence, inertia and legal tactics.
Mr Sullivan also spoke about the road ahead and plans currently being considered by Church leaders to establish an independent Church body to set, monitor and publicly report on child protection and a range of other internal standards for dioceses and religious orders.
This week the Royal Commission finalised hearing evidence into its public hearing about the way in which the Archdiocese of Melbourne responded to allegations of child sexual abuse while earlier this month the Commission also finalised hearing evidence into the Ballarat case study. It now looks like there may only be one or two more public hearings involving the Catholic Church before the Commission's final public hearing early next year which will again focus on 'why' so much child sxual abuse took place in Catholic Church institutions.
New secular body to advise French Church on abuse cases
The French Catholic Church has decided to set up a new independent commission made up of secular experts in charge of advising bishops and helping them handle the sensitive cases of child sex abuses by priests.
Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it "one of the greatest deformations" that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps "diminish and undervalue" the contributions that laypeople make.