Bishop Bill and the Truth, Justice and Healing Council have encouraged Parish priests around Australia, including those in our diocese, to acknowledge the start of Royal Commission hearings into Towards Healing on December 9 by reading the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse commitment statement at Mass over the coming weeks.
The statement “...acknowledges the damage sexual abuse has done” and “...acknowledges past failings including cover-ups, failures of leadership and not believing victims,” (TJHC press release 12 November, 2013).
The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an absolute and abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and well being of children and has actively shown its support of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry. It is committed to assisting the work of the national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. As part of Zimmerman Services, the Diocesan Child Protection Unit provides a specialist information, support and investigation service for all members of the diocese, in schools, CatholicCare and parishes. The Diocesan Child Protection Unit works closely with statutory authorities including NSW Police, Community Services, the Office of the Children’s Guardian and the NSW Ombudsman’s Office to help protect children and prevent abuse. Further, our diocese offers a unique individualised healing service through our Healing and Support Team which is an intricate part of our child protection unit, Zimmerman Services.
Bishop Bill has encouraged priests in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to read the statement to people at weekend Masses before December 9 and consider making printed copies available too.
To read a full copy of the statement, click here.
For more information about Zimmerman Services and the Healing and Support Unit, please phone 4979 1390 or visit the Child Protection section of this site.