Catholic Church responds to Royal Commission terms of reference

Francis Sullivan and Barry O’Keefe, Photo SMH

Media Release, 11 January, 2012

CEO of the Catholic Church’s newly-formed Truth, Justice and Healing Council Francis Sullivan spoke today on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at 1pm

“We welcome the appointment of the six commissioners named by the Prime Minister today: Chief Commissioner Justice Peter McLelland; Bob Atkinson; Justice Jennifer Coate; Robert Fitzgerald; Professor Helen Milroy; and former Senator Andrew Murray.

 “Once again, we commit to fully cooperate and engage with the Royal Commission and its deliberations,” he said.

“At its heart, the Royal Commission needs to let the full truth come out and ensure that the dignity of those who have been damaged by these atrocities is preserved, that they are supported, and not subject to a retraumatising of their experiences.”

“It is essential that the Commission’s process contribute to the healing of the victims, and that institutions develop best-practice processes to address child sexual abuse.”

“The Church stands ready and willing to assist.”

“Apart from participating fully in the Royal Commission, the Church will embark on its own processes of atonement and healing to bring light, hope and compassion to this very dark episode”, he said.

For media enquiries or to arrange interviews, please contact Francis Sullivan on 0418 486 440 or Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256