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Sunday, September 3, 2017

RC releases criminal justice report, New CPS Ltd Directors, Frankly speaking, more....


Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

August 2017
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Royal Commission releases Criminal Justice Report

The Royal Commission has released its final report into the Criminal Justice system and its interaction with child sexual abuse allegations and claims.

The 2000- plus page report made 85 recommendations across many different areas including reform to police and prosecution responses, evidence of complainants, sentences and appeals, and grooming offences.

The Commission also made a single recommendation calling for the legal privilege currently covering information priests might hear in the confessional to be removed.

Read the Commission's report

Read Commission's media release

Read statement from Archbishop Denis Hart

Read piece from Catholic Leader including Archbishop Coleridge comments

Read letter to priests from Archbishop Fisher

Read media release from TJHC

Read a selection of media coverage

Read editorial from Catholic Weekly re TJHC response to Commission's recommendations

   

Frankly speaking...

Last week I was on the Gold Coast meeting with communications staff from different Catholic education offices around the country and then the following day in Adelaide to join Catholic school principals at a South Australian staff development day.

Both groups were keen to hear what might be the likely final recommendations from the Royal Commission and what impact they might have on schools.

The Commission is currently working on a volume in its final report focused specifically on schools and while it seems, now more than ever, that schools are among the safest places for children there is no doubt that this volume will place even further obligations on schools to ensure children are safe.

Latest from the Council

New directors for Catholic Professional Standards Ltd

Members of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPS) have announced the appointment of Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AO and Dr Robyn Miller PhD as Directors of the Company.

Professor Lavarch has had extensive involvement in Australian public life, and served in local government before being elected to Federal Parliament in 1987, serving as Attorney General in the Keating Government.

Dr Robyn Miller brings over 30 years' experience in the community sector, local government and child protection areas, and has practised in the public and private sectors as a therapist, clinical supervisor, consultant and lecturer.

Catholic Professional Standards Limited Announces the Appointment of Board Directors
28 August 2017 - Media Release from CPS

   

Where to from here, two views from TJH Council members

The furture of the Church and how leaders will respond to the final report from the Royal Commission is becoming a very live issue amoung both the Catholic and broader commiunity.

Two members of the Truth Justice and Healing Council have recently spoken about where they see the church heading with Andrew West from the ABC's Religion and Ethics Report.

Elizabeth Proust pessimistic about reform in the Catholic Church
ABC Religion nand Ethics Report - 16 August 2017

The royal commission into child sex abuse needs more scrutiny: Professor Greg Craven
ABC Religion nand Ethics Report - 23 August 2017

   
 
 

New office to strengthen protection of children and vulnerable adults

Absorbing the failures unearthed at the Royal Commission, the Archdiocese of Brisbane has strengthened its efforts towards protecting children and vulnerable adults with a new role.

The Office of Safeguarding and Professional Standards Services was opened on August 17, with Mark Eustance appointed its first Director.

It is the latest step in what has been a significant investment of effort and resources towards ensuring local parishes and communities provide safe environments for vulnerable people.

21 August 2017 - Brisbane Catholic

THJC meets with school principals and communications staff

The Royal Commission's final report and recommendations will have significant implications for Catholic schools including strengthened reporting requirements and stronger working with children checks, Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, has forecast.

Mr Sullivan was speaking this week on the Gold Coast at a conference of communications staff from across Australia's Catholic Education Offices and also in Adelaide at a separate event to more than 100 principals from South Australian Catholic schools.

Read TJHC media release

Read TJHC speech to South Australian School Principals

   
 
 

Pope Francis says sexual abuse by priests is an 'absolute monstrosity' in new book

Pope Francis has branded sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests a "monstrosity" and pledged action against perpetrators and bishops who protected them.

The pope made the comments in the foreword of a new book titled Father, I Forgive You: Abused But Not Broken, written by Swiss man Daniel Pittet, who was first raped by a priest when he was eight years old.

Pope Francis, whose repeated promises of zero tolerance have been criticised by victims who say the Vatican needs to do much more, called sexual abuse "an absolute monstrosity, a terrible sin that contradicts everything that the Church teaches".

Pope Francis says sexual abuse by priests is an 'absolute monstrosity' in new book
The Guardian  - 17 August 2017

In further news from the Vatican the Pope's commission on clergy sexual abuse is considering whether to restructure itself so that it no longer includes the direct participation of abuse survivors.

Papal Abuse Commission Considers Restructuring
NCR Online - 23 August 2017

 
 
 

Bicentenary of the Foundation of the Marist Brothers

Marist Brother Provincial, Br Peter Carroll, has again apologised to child sexual abuse survivors as part of his address at the Bicentenary Mass for the Order earlier this month.

"To those men and women who, as innocent children, were entrusted into the care of Marist schools and institutions, and who were abused and damaged, sometimes permanently, I offer our deepest remorse and apology. To their parents who placed them into our care and who, without doubt, have questioned and regretted their decision, I also offer our profound apology. To their families and loved ones who have journeyed with them in their pain, I also apologise."

Marist Bicentenary Mass - Address from the Provincial Br Peter Carroll FMS
12 August 2017

 
 

New research into child sexual abuse in contemporary institutional settings

Two new research reports, released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, suggest that a significant proportion of reports to police of child sexual abuse in institutional settings involved another child as the person of interest.

The research reports, Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008-2013: Findings from administrative data and the follow-up study Child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: The reliability of police data, nature and allegations reported to police, and factors driving reporting rates were released this week.

Read the reports:

Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008-13: Findings from administrative data

Child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: The reliability of police data, nature and allegations reported to police, and factors driving reporting rates

Coming up


October 10, Address to the Western Australian Bar Association
October 17, Address to University of the Third Age, Canberra
October 19, Address to Catholic Community of Geelong, Geelong
November 4, Address to Catholic School Parents Australia, Hobart
November 14, Address to Catholic Secondary Principals Australia, Adelaide

   
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