"There have been growing calls for a Royal Commission into the church's handling of sexual assault matters. I am broadly supportive of public inquiries into these matters.
The Wood Royal Commission in NSW in the 1990s comprehensively reviewed issues of child abuse across the whole community, including churches.
The Wood Royal Commission resulted in powerful sweeping reforms to child protection in NSW that remains in place today.
The Catholic Church in Victoria is actively engaged with the special Parliamentary Inquiry into the history of the procedures religious and community organisations have used to respond to allegations of child sexual assault.
It would be for government to determine in consultation with their agencies and other groups in the community, what would be the best form of inquiry and into which particular issues it should inquire.
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will always cooperate to the full with any official investigation.
The diocese has also committed itself to work with those who have suffered harm, to try and find ways to assist and support a person's intensely personal journey towards healing.
For more information about the child protection services offered by Zimmerman Services (the Diocesan Child Protection Unit, Healing and Support Services and Insights), please contact (02) 4979 1390."
-A statement from Bishop Bill Wright, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.