Sexual abuse of children has occurred in almost every type of institution in Australia where children lived or attended.
Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is to have a final public sitting in Sydney next month, on the eve of delivering its final report to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on 15 December, to thank the community for its support.
This week I spoke at a plenary session of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference meeting in Sydney. Little surprise that the main topic was the forthcoming release of the Royal Commission's final report. But even before the report is released the bishops and religious leaders must commit to a future that is not characterised by a 'business as usual' mentality.
TJHC addresses lay community in Perth and Education Directors in Sydney
The Council has encouraged grass roots Catholics in Perth to take up the challenge of Pope Francis and be a church that is engaged, inclusive and messy. Speaking at a meeting of around 80 people, hosted by Community of the Way at Trinity College, TJHC CEO, Francis Sullivan said while church hierarchy must address the recommendations from the Royal Commission, it is also up to lay people to push for change and to hold the leadership accountable.
Mr Sullivan also met with the National Directors of Catholic Education in Sydney this week prior to the release of the Royal Commission's report. The workshop, which was well attended, examined ramifications for church organisations in relation to governance and best practice in education.
Picture: Francis Sullivan and Chris Flamer, Community of the Way spokesman.
WA Govt introduces bill to extend reporting period for child sex abuse claims
WA victims of child sex abuse who did not report their abuse within six years may soon be eligible to seek compensation after the state government introduced a bill in Parliament to remove the statutory limitation period last week.
Picture: Attorney General John Quigley and Premier Mark McGowan (centre)
Responding to sexual abuse will take years - and it should
America, the Jesuit Review, editorialises this week that the sexual harassment and assault revelations coming out of Washington and Hollywood, are unlikely to stop anytime soon. If the history of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is any guide, the process of reckoning with problems that have been avoided for decades will itself take decades.
December 4, National Redress Meeting CRA Leaders, Sydney December 5, Faith Based Governance and Dispute Resolution Conference, Melbourne December 12, Ecumenical Redress Conversation, Sydney December 14, Royal Commission Final Hearing, Sydney December 15, Royal Commission report due to Governor General December 18, Address Executive Mercy Health Board, Melbourne