Catholic Church in Australia
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) on Thursday published their Annual Progress Report
on initiatives implemented at national and local level to fight abuse in the Church . The report has been issued yearly since 2018 on recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It summarizes reports provided by more than 50 Catholic entities across the country to give an account to the Australian government of the progress made in the field of child protection.
Acknowledgment of past failures
In the preface, Bishops’ Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane and CRA president Br Peter Carroll FMS acknowledge the “shameful past” that reveals “we let down too many children and many thousands were abused in our settings”.
“The Catholic Church in Australia takes full responsibility for the harm caused by the tragic history of child sexual abuse by clergy, religious and lay Church workers”, they write. “The failings of Church personnel who offended grievously and the failings of Church leaders who responded wrongly – or not at all – have harmed victims, survivors, their families and their supporters, and have led to a life of pain and suffering for so many. These same failings have hurt the community of the Church and disillusioned many in society”, they add, acknowledging “with gratitude all who have come forward and disclosed or reported the abuse they have suffered”.