Pope's New Year message to Bishops: abuse zero tolerance
In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.
The Church not only hears the "cries of pain" of her children who suffer from war, slavery and malnutrition, he said, but she also weeps "because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests."
The upcoming final hearing of the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission begins on 6 February and is expected to run for three weeks. Unlike the case studies this hearing will be less forensic in nature and more of an exploration of the causes and contributing factors for the institutional responses from Church Authorities to child sex abuse cases. As I have previously mentioned this is an important hearing and is vital to the overall assessment the Commission will make of the Church's response to this scandal.
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection at the Gregorian University, believes that the church's typical top-down approach in handling sex-abuse allegations may not be enough.
He proposes a global alliance comprised by individual priests, religious and laity along with Catholic universities, religious orders and bishops' conferences.
Police chiefs planning to apologise to child-sex victims
The nation's police commissioners are set to make a historic apology to the victims of child-sex abuse in institutional care who were not believed when they reported these crimes or, worse, were returned to their abusers.
SA residential care workers to undergo psych testing
All South Australian Government residential care workers will undergo psychological testing before being given the all-clear to work with vulnerable children.
The testing was one of a number of recommendations made by two-year Child Protection Systems Royal Commission into abuse of vulnerable children in state care by former Families SA carer and paedophile Shannon McCoole.