Over the past week there has been much discussion about the Sacrament of Confession, particularly when it comes into contact with the civil law. The key issue is: should a priest who is told by a penitent that they have committed a child sex abuse crime reveal it to the police? .
During Mass last Sunday a senior Church official apologised publically to a former parishioner for the pain and suffering she endured as a result of a "long-term inappropriate sexual relationship" with the parish priest at St Francis on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne, Tom Knowles.
"On behalf of the Australian Province of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation, I wish to apologise to Jennifer Herrick for the pain and suffering she experienced," reads the apology.
According to reports, Tom Knowles, has become the first in Australia to be defrocked for having an inappropriate relationship with a woman.
New Commission research into institutional culture and child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission has released a new research report investigating the role of organisational culture in institutional child sexual abuse. The research also identifies factors that can lead to successful organisational change and prevent child sexual abuse in institutions.