Truth Justice and Healing Council meets with Catholic community in Melbourne
Catholics across Australia need to prepare for the final Royal Commission hearing into the Catholic Church openly and with a willingness to embrace the difficult questions around why the scandal occurred in the Church and the extent to which it did.
In wide-ranging presentations this week to the Victorian chapter of the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Dominican Friars, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, said the final hearing into the Catholic Church in early 2017 will be confronting.
The Royal Commission hearings over the last month have been an unrelenting examination of how the local Catholic officials in the dioceses of Newcastle, Armidale, Sydney and Parramatta handled abuse by clerics and religious brothers. Despite some changes, it's confounding to witness the way the institutional Church really was not up to the mark in properly dealing with perpetrators. As we now prepare for the final hearing of the Catholic Church in early 2017 we need to openly embrace the difficult questions around why the scandal occurred in the Church to the extent that it did, and why it was handled the way that it was. There is no point raising issues unless we are prepared to learn from them and to put things right.
People continue to seek out the Church in Ballarat
Ballarat has been infamous for the gang of paedophile priests which operated with impunity. Father Justin Driscoll, the vicar-general of the Ballarat diocese, said the pressure was too much to bear for some parishioners. "I think it's shaken everybody's faith," he said.
Despite the difficult times for the church, baptism numbers are steady, according to Father Driscoll. He said people had continued to seek out the church throughout the royal commission hearings.
Marist Schools Australia has introduced new Child Protection Standards to enhance the way its schools prevent and respond to child abuse.
The Standards aim to develop further a culture within each MSA-governed school to ensure protecting children from abuse is embedded in the everyday thinking and practice of leaders, staff, and volunteers.
Royal Commission private session registrations close soon
Private session registrations are closing on 30 September 2016.
More than 5,500 private sessions have been held and around 1,500 people are currently waiting for a private session.
Due to this demand, the Royal Commission will close registrations for private sessions on 30 September 2016.
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