On Friday last week the Commonwealth Government announced it will establish and run a national redress scheme for the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
The Commonwealth and Prime Minister Turnbull should be applauded for taking a principled decision on this very important and difficult issue.
"For more than three years the Catholic Church, survivors and others have been calling for an independent, Commonwealth-run redress scheme that has the potential to respond to the claims of survivors consistently," Francis Sullivan said.
"Today's announcement, which is consistent with the Royal Commission recommendations and submissions by the Catholic Church, is the first step in delivery of such a scheme.
The announcement late last week by the Turnbull Government that it will establish and run a national redress scheme for the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse is a great decision that has the potential to be among the significant social policy reforms in recent history.
But the new scheme will only be truly effective if all institutions and all governments accept their responsibilities and commit to participating.
TJHC meets with community groups and others across Victoria
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council, has met with seminarians, students, parishioners and child sex abuse advocates across Victoria over the past two weeks to promote the work of the Council and to brief interest groups on the progress of the Royal Commission.
Coming ahead of the Royal Commission's announcement this week of the 'wrap up' public hearing in February next year, Mr Sullivan said it is important that the Catholic community continues to approach the Commission openly, honestly and with a spirt of cooperation.
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing in February 2017 into the current policies and procedures of several religious institutions, including the Caholic Church in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
This hearing is expected to include consideration of factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse and how they may have effected the response.
The institutions to be examined are: • Catholic Church authorities in Australia; • Anglican Church authorities in Australia; • Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi; • Uniting Church in Australia; • Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd