The Royal Commission Into Institutional Child Sex Abuse

Media Release | 15 December, 2017

I congratulate the Royal Commission on its rigor during this long investigative process, and honour the victims for their courage in exposing the unspeakable horrors they have endured.

These courageous victims have carried throughout their lives the open wounds of unimaginable and unspeakable evil.  This has been done by people who have used their positions of moral power and authority for horrendous crimes.

We are truly sorry for all that has taken place.

This Royal Commission has been like an extended intense examination of conscience for Institutions, especially the Catholic Church.  It lays bare our historic failings.  It has held a prophetic mirror before us in a sustained manner that has both produced humiliation and conversion.

While reform has been underway, this report marks the line in the sand.  Catholics and the community more broadly are calling loudly for strong leadership from Institutions and an unreserved approach to implementing reforms.  As a Catholic leader, I accept this responsibility, and with the support of our faith-filled communities, I am determined to forge a more accountable and transparent future direction.

We can only right the wrongs through actions.

A thorough examination of the Royal Commission’s report will now take place.

I support the introduction of a national redress scheme for the survivors of child sexual abuse in which the Church will participate, along with State governments.  Over this year, I have strongly advocated the ACT Government to strengthen and expand the Reportable Conduct Scheme to include religious organisations.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn
Friday, 15th December 2017

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