The Australian reported this week that the Catholic Church is forming an independent company, with directors drawn from the community, to guard national standards relating to child protection, including education of priests and other clergy.
In response to questions, Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan told The Australian the church was putting in place better oversight structures such as the new body, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd. He said the company would oversee the establishment, maintenance and reporting of national standards.
An official announcement about Catholic Professional Standards will be made by the ACBC in the near future.
This week we'll hear the final evidence in case study 44 about former priest, John Farrell and the response of the dioceses of Armidale and Parramatta to allegations of abuse. Like all of the hearings it's been difficult for survivor witnesses, families and communities.
Since the Royal Commission's work began in early 2013, Church leaders and their agencies have put in place many changes. Announcing good intentions is one thing, actually making sure those changes translate into a safer, better place for children and young people is another. It will take time and commitment to ensure its not just business as usual once the Royal Commission's spotlight is extinguished.
As Manager of MacKillop Family Services' Heritage and Information Service, Jenny Glare's pioneering work in the supported release of records to care-leavers has had a profound impact on thousands of Australians who grew up in former child institutions. She was recently awarded the prestigious Leadership Award at the Robin Clark Protecting Children Awards 2016 for her work.
The innovative approaches she has developed to allow people to access their records, and the support she and her team provide during the process, have been recognised as international best practice and she is frequently called upon to advise government and non-government agencies all over the world.
Restoration of trust key to survival of Catholic Church
Since its inception, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been a lightning rod for longstanding disillusionment with the Catholic Church.
Among its critics, an impression seems to have formed that the Catholic Church has been exceptional among the institutions examined in regard to child sexual abuse and that it is, in fact, rotten to its core and in desperate need of root and branch reform.
Given the commission concludes its hearings on Catholic organisations this week, Chris McGillion and Damian Grace say its timely to consider whether what has been learned over the past 3½ years supports or challenges this impression.
Chris McGillion and Damian Grace are the authors of Reckoning: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse.
Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM will present the Blackfriars Lecture in Canberra on 19 October.
'Safeguarding our Young – Empowering our Young – Reflections from a Royal Commissioner', will draw on emerging learnings from the Royal Commission. Commissioner Fitzgerald will look at what has gone wrong across so many institutions, and what can be done to better safeguard children and young people.
Date: Wednesday 19 October 2016 Time: 5:30pm for 6:00-7:00pm Venue: Blackfriars Building, ACU Canberra Campus, 127 Phillip Ave, Watson ACT RSVP: Essential, by Friday 14 October, OCD.Canberra@acu.edu.au
27 September 2016, Dominican Friars Pre-Chapter Assembly, Templestowe 28 September 2016: St Vincent De Paul social justice meeting 25 October 2016: CSSA Leaders Summit, CLC Melbourne 25 October 2016: St Roch's Parish Pastoral Council, Glen Iris 27 October 2016: Catholic Theological College SRC, Melbourne 2 November 2016: "Lookout" Monthly Meeting, Healesville 3 November 2016: The Quality of Mercy presentation, Melbourne 8 November 2016: Spirituality in the Pub, Notting Hill, Victoria