Statement in response to request for further judicial inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has, continues to, and will always acknowledge both the terrible levels of historic child sexual abuse that occurred within the Diocese and the failures of some of its past leaders to protect children from that abuse.
After two exhaustive, forensic and public judicial inquiries into institutional child sexual abuse, the Diocese has, and follows, comprehensive recommendations and world-class research to:
- assist the Diocese in ensuring children today, and into the future, will enjoy the highest levels of safeguarding reasonably possible
- promote innovative and highly personalised, trauma-informed support services for survivors and their immediate families.
The Diocese does not believe there is substantive gain to be had from further inquiries.
However, the Diocese acknowledges the families who have lost loved ones who may have been victims of abuse, to suicide or misadventure. If these families believe they will achieve a lessening of their grief from a further judicial inquiry, the Diocese will make every effort to be wholly transparent and will be cooperative and supportive to the best of its ability.
For healing and support:
The past is with us today. The Diocese has, is and will continue to acknowledge the shameful aspects of its history where children suffered abuse and some of its leaders failed to protect them from harm. The pain and damage caused is current each day for some survivors and their families. Healing and Support (Zimmerman Service) continues to provide a highly personalised pastoral response and can be contacted during office hours Monday to Friday 02 4923 0636 or via email email@example.com.
Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults:
If a diocesan employee, volunteer, parishioner, cleric or religious has any concerns for the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or vulnerable adult, please ring the Office of Safeguarding during office hours Monday to Friday 02 4979 1390, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or through an online report (which can be done anonymously) https://officeofsafeguarding.org.au/report-abuse/.