Speaking to around 150 congregational representatives at Catholic Religious Australia’s national assembly in Sydney today, Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, has said the work of providing documents to the Royal Commission into child abuse is well under way.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is now eight months into its work and the Council is working hard toprovide the necessary papers and documentation it is calling for,” Mr Sullivan said.
“So far we have collected some 150,000 documents from congregations and diocese and have provided about 24,000 already to the Commission.
“This is time consuming, intense work which brings together everything the Commission is after: every file, every policy, every incident report that touches on child sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said.
Mr Sullivan said the Council is also looking at best practice in the area of Child protection.
“At the end of the day, the whole church wants the best protection for children so we’re talking to professional standards experts, our schools, our social services and our healthcare providers about what else we can do to protect children.
“We are also talking to religious congregations and diocese in the Catholic Church across Australia.
“We will be looking at all the protocols currently in place across the Church and we will also be looking at new mechanisms for ensuring that children are protected in the future,” Mr Sullivan said.
The head of Catholic Religious Australia, Annette Cunliffe rsc, said the presentation provided valuable information about the Royal Commission and the role of the Truth Justice and Healing Council.
“I am confident that the Council will represent the Church with integrity and honesty in a spirit of courage and humility,” Sr Cunliffe said.
The Truth Justice and Healing Council was established by the Catholic Church to coordinate the Catholic Church response to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Its role is to oversee the Church's engagement with theCommission, to develop new policies to protect young people and to ensure the Church responds to any future complaints appropriately with justice, putting the needs of victims first.
For more information on the Truth Justice and Healing Council go to www.tjhcouncil.org.au
Media contact: Michael Salmon 0417 495 018