Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, has welcomed the start of Royal Commission hearings into child sexual abuse saying no past victims will be stopped from telling their story to the Commission because of past confidentiality agreements.
“The Royal Commission is the opportunity for the Church to face the way it has responded to the victims of child sexual abuse.
“This is a watershed moment in which we re-commit to the pastoral care of victims, apologise for our actions and face up to the shameful history of sexual abuse in the Church.
“The Commission will bring to centre stage the needs of victims and others damaged by members of the Church who abandoned and abused the very people they were supposed to protect and care for.
“This will be a difficult time for victims and survivors and for the Church.”
The Truth Justice and Healing Council has been established by the two overarching Catholic Church organisations, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia which, together represent some 200 diocese and congregations across Australia.
Its role is to oversee the Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission including managing the Church’s representation and publicly representing the Church in matters related to the Commission and child abuse.