New Zealand bishops reaffirm commitment to government abuse inquiry
FREE Catholic Classes
The Catholic bishops of New Zealand have countered reports that say they are backing away from an upcoming government inquiry into sexual abuse cases in state and religious institutions in the country.
Wellington, New Zealand, (CNA) -"Listening to individuals who have been harmed is critical in ensuring the Church's response will be thorough, effective and compassionate, and forms part of our experience for developing safeguarding for today and into the future," the bishops said in a statement published on their website.
They wrote responding to reports that they had backed away from a royal commission inquiry, which will examine historical cases of sexual abuse at institutions of care in New Zealand between the years 1950-1999.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the royal commission of inquiry into sex abuse cases in January 2018, the highest form of long-term investigation available in the country.
While the original terms of the inquiry included youth detention centers, psychiatric hospitals and orphanages, as well as any government care services contracted out to private institutions, the Catholic bishops of New Zealand published a letter in March 2018 calling for an expansion of the inquiryďż˝ s terms to include Catholic care institutions.
In that letter, the bishops said they would be "active contributors and learners within the Royal Commission of Inquiry."
"We assure you once again of our support and our desire to learn from this national undertaking which we are confident will contribute positively to the strengthening and safeguarding of our wh?nau, communities and society," they wrote.
In their recent statement, the bishops referenced their March letter and reiterated their support of the inquiry.
"The Bishops and representation from Catholic Religious orders wrote to Prime Minister Ardern, Minister Martin, and Sir Anand Satyanand in March this year. That letter explicitly sought the broadening of the draft Terms of Reference to include Church institutions and was made publicly available and reported in the media," the bishops said.
The statement comes amid pressure from two New Zealand men who are publicly calling for the release of Church files on Father Cornelius O'Brien, an Irish priest who moved to New Zealand in 1963 and served at least seven parishes until 1976, at which point he was accused of indecency against a 10 year-old and returned to the UK. He is reportedly believed to have sexually abused multiple children during his time in New Zealand. O' Brien died 6 years ago, his priestly faculties having never been removed.
The New Zealand Royal Commission inquiry is expected to take several years and is similar to the recently-concluded five-year Royal Commission inquiry in Australia, which examined sex abuse in Australian schools, churches, and sports clubs, and set up a government program to financially compensate victims.
The bishops of Australia said in August that while they have accepted hundreds of specific recommendations from the final report, they reject the recommendation that priests violate the seal of confession in cases of sexual abuse disclosed during confession
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Pope Francis visited Friday the temporary medical clinics serving Rome's poor and homeless in St. Peter's Square this week. vatican ... continue reading
The heart of St. Laurence O' Toole is again on public display six years after it was stolen, and 800 years after the death of the saint. ... continue reading
Pope Francis Tuesday appointed Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. ... continue reading
Catholic journalists should be guided not by despair and negativity, but by a commitment to sharing the beauty of the human person, Pope ... continue reading
Some 640 general practitioners in the Republic of Ireland have signed a petition saying their concerns have not been listened to regarding ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, November 16th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 19th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Sunday, November 18, 2018
- Pope Francis visits the poor at mobile clinic in St Peter's Square
- After shocking theft, heart of Irish saint returns home
- St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November ...
- Algerian martyrs are models for the Church, archbishop says
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 18th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, November 15th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, November 17th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education