Saturday, February 18, 2017

Second week of Catholic Wrap up, Frankly Speaking and more

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February 2017
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Week two of Catholic wrap up

The second week of the Royal Commission's final public hearing into the Catholic Church started this week. The focus of the Commission's work this week has included an examination of the training and formation of priests, professional support of priests, Catholic social services and education and professional standards and survivor services.

Read TJHC hearing room updates and other material here

See the Commission's Case Study 50 page here

Read transcripts from the hearing here

Read a selection of media coverage here


Royal Commission releases full report on child sexual abuse in Catholic Church

The Royal Commission has released its full report on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. This is the report from which data which was released at the start of Case Study 50 last week was drawn.

The report, and its associated explanatory note, provides much greater detail on information about abuse in the church including weighted and unweighted numbers of claims and alleged offenders and redress payments made by dioceses and orders.

Statement from Senior Counsel Assisting on full data survey report
16 February 2017

Statement from Francis Sullivan on Royal Commission full data report
16 February 2017

ABC Radio: PM: Interview Francis Sullivan
16 February 2017

Analysis of claims of child sexual abuse made with respect to Catholic Church institutions in Australia
16 February 2017

Royal Commission explanitory note on data report
16 February 2017


Frankly speaking...

We are now in the second week of the three that will make up the final hearing of the Catholic Church in this Royal Commission. Unlike all the other case studies the Church has been involved with, this hearing is delving into the way the Church, as a whole, dealt with the abuse scandal.

As each topic is explored, be it clericalism, celibacy, the seal of confession or screening and supervision of seminarians, a range of views and positions are on display. There is no doubt that the Catholic Church is a complex and multifaceted organisation.

Latest from the Council

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness in preface to new clerical child sexual abuse book

Pope Francis has writen the preface to a new book by a survivor of clerical sexual abuse asking for forgiveness for what he calls an "absolute monstrosity" in the Church's history.

"It is difficult for a victim of pedophilia to speak out about what they have endured and to describe the trauma that still persists many years later," Pope Francis writes in "Father, I Forgive You" by Daniel Pittet, a Swiss man who was repeatedly raped by a Capuchin friar as a child.

Pope writes preface to book by victim of clerical sex abuse
Vatican Radio - 13 February 2017
Clerical Sexual Abuse: Pope Asks Forgiveness for 'Monstrosity' in Book - ‎14 February 2017
Pope describes clerical sex abuse as 'diabolic sacrifice' in book preface
Irish Times - ‎14 February 2017
Pope says suicides by clerical abuse victims 'weigh on my heart'
Crux - 14 February 2017‎


Frank Brennan writes about the Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission

Fr Frank Brennan writes in Eureka Street this week about his appearance before the Royal Commission and the importance of the Church learning from the Commission's examination.

Brennan said to the Commission: 'Though most of you are not members of the Catholic Church, nor pride yourselves as theologians, you have been the de facto confessors of the nation on this particular issue now for four years. You have far more experience pastorally on these things than even all these learned professors and bishops I am surrounded by will ever have.'

The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission
Eureka Street - 12 February 2017


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Final hearing of the Catholic Church, Frankly speaking, National Redress, more...

Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

February 2017
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Final Catholic case study starts

The Royal Commission has started its final hearing into the Catholic Church. This week in her opening statement to the Commission, Senior Counsel Assisting, Gail Furness, released data on the extent of child sexual abuse in the church.

In a statement to the Commission TJHC CEO Francis Sullivan said the data represented a massive failure on the part the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers and predators.

"These numbers are shocking, they are tragic and they are indefensible," Mr Sullivan said.

Read Council assisting opening statement here
Read statement to Commission from TJHC CEO here
See the data report here
Read transcripts from this week's hearing here
Read hearing room updates from TJHC here


Frankly speaking...

The release of the data this week into the extent of clerical child sexual abuse in the Australian Catholic Church has been both a statistical and spiritual ground zero for millions of people around Australia and around the world.

It has had a devastating impact on the survivors of abuse, on ordinary Catholics and on the broader community.

Latest from the Council

Government reveals national compensation redress scheme timetable

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed a fixed timeline for when victims would be able to seek financial redresss through a national redress scheme.

"This abuse, in any context, can never happen again," the Prime Minister told parliament.

"This is not just a history lesson. This is not just a sad tale from times past. This is a reminder to all of us today, in every part of the nation, to protect the vulnerable in our care, the children in our care in whatever context."

Answer from Prime Minister Turnbull in question time on National Redress Scheme
Hansard  - 7 February 2017

Abuse tales a reminder to protect, PM says
AAP - 7 February 2017

Compensation at last for victims of clerical abuse
The Australian - 8 February 2017

Read Parliamentary statements from Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and Shadow Families and Social Services minister, Jenny Macklin



New abuse reporting system for Tasmanian Catholic Church

Tasmania's Catholic Church will usher in a new era this year, with the introduction of an Australian-first child sex abuse reporting system.

The new system, created by the Archdiocese of Hobart, will "ensure that in all potential environments where there is a risk of abuse, that risk is alleviated or mitigated" and ensure "that where abuse has unfortunately occurred, the correct internal and external processes are followed".

Tasmanian Catholic Church introduces new abuse reporting system
West Coast Sentinal - 9 February 2017


Chris Clarke@chrisclarkenews

9 Feb 2017, 1:30 p.m.

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