October 18, 2018

Bishops to release Church’s formal response to Royal Commission this month

President of Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Mark Coleridge and president of Catholic Religious Australia Sr Ruth Durick

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will release its formal response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by the end of August.

It will also release the four volumes of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council’s final report.

ACBC president Archbishop Mark Coleridge made the announcement on 3 August after two days of meetings on the issue.

“The bishops have reached a common position on the Royal Commission’s recommendations relating to the Catholic Church and its various ministries,” he said.

“The Bishops Conference and the president of Catholic Religious Australia agreed that the close collaboration between the two bodies during the life of the Royal Commission and in the area of the protection of children and vulnerable people should continue.”

The Catholic Religious Australia Council, which meets later this month, will work with the ACBC to finalise the Catholic Church’s response, he said.

“Through the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, the bishops and religious orders have engaged productively with the Royal Commission and within the Church in recent years, shaping a shared voice and approach.

“It’s therefore appropriate that our formal response to the Commission’s recommendations and our response to child sexual abuse should also be made together.”

Representatives of Catholic Religious Australia, Catholic Professional Standards Limited and the Church’s Implementation Advisory Group were key contributors to the bishops’ deliberations last week.

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