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Monday, 20 August 2012 22:14

Towards healing, justice and wholeness

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The pastoral letter to be sent to parishes and churches this weekend acknowledges that the impact of abuse on children and their families "can be devastating and lasting". 

“In our letter we acknowledge the suffering and trauma endured by children who have been in the Church’s care, and the effect on their families."

“The letter also explains the approach of the Church to the Inquiry, speaks of the challenging and difficult period ahead for victims and their families, and the need to learn from past failures to ensure we do everything in our power to protect children,” Archbishop Hart said.

“Mistakes were made and we apologise to victims and their families for these failures."

“The Church has learnt from these failures and our response has changed. We are focused on the needs of those who have been abused and have taken action to prevent future abuse. We have also changed how we deal with offenders."

“Since 1996, we have introduced procedures to protect children and vulnerable persons against sexual abuse. These have been refined as we have learned how to support victims better, and we will consider further changes in the light of recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry,” he said.

Read the full text of the Pastoral Letter on the Victorian Government Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations.

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