Royal and Special Commissions

"My hope is that after the Royal Commission there will be no more conspiracy of silence around child abuse, no more blaming the victim, no more resigned acceptance that it's going to happen. These would be great outcomes. If the Church has to take a battering along the way, so be it."

- Bishop Bill Wright, November 2012 (read full statement).

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle actively supports, and is firmly committed to assisting the work of both the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry and the national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

This section of the website is dedicated to providing information, links, news stories and statements concerning both the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry.

In this section you can:

  • Read news articles and press releases from the diocese that relate to the Royal & Special Commissions;
  • View statements released by the Truth Justice & Healing Council - the group that will oversee the Catholic Church's engagement with the national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;
  • Learn about Breaking the Silence - a professionally produced DVD commissioned by the diocese which deals with the impact of child sexual abuse;
  • Learn more about the diocese's 'Committee for Commissions', which aims to assist the diocese in its preparation to engage with both the Royal and Special Commissions.

NSW Special Commission of Inquiry

On 9 November 2012, the Premier announced that the NSW government proposed to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into matters raised by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox in an ABC Lateline interview regarding the handling of certain child sexual abuse allegations.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen's report relating to the Special Commission of Inquiry was published by the Executive on Friday 30 May 2014. You can read the Commissioner's report at

Following the release of the report, Bishop Bill Wright issued an open letter to the people of the Diocese, accompanied by a video.

You can also download and read the full public submission sent to the Special Commission of Inquiry by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. This document includes an acknowledgement and apology from Bishop Bill Wright and descriptions of the evolution of Child Protection Practices within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. 

Related Links

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On Friday 11 January 2013, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.

Related Links


For those affected

Zimmerman Service Healing and Support also offers healing and support to victims and their families who have been adversely affected by child sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Contact Healing and Support on (02) 4979 1390 or email