Photo: Archbishop Coleridge (back row centre), his brother Bishops Joseph Oudeman and Brian V Finnigan, and the executive and administrative staff of the Episcopal Offices wear Blue Knot Day pins on Monday October 27.
Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) is the name of a support group who have come to prominence during the McClellan Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
At their initiative Monday 27 October was declared “Blue Knot Day” as a way of raising national awareness in solidarity with the many adult survivors of childhood trauma.
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council which is interacting with the Royal Commission directly on behalf of the Church, has called on all Catholic organisations around Australia to take part in Blue Knot Day 2014.
“This is a chance for Catholic parishes, congregations, social services, health, and education organisations across Australia to show their support for survivors of child sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said.
“This is not just about abuse that happened in the Catholic Church but about abuse that has happened anywhere.
“As a caring community, Blue Knot Day, gives Catholics the perfect opportunity to make a very clear statement that we are responsible for ensuring the crimes and cover-ups of the past never happen again and that survivors are treated with justice and compassion,” Mr Sullivan said.
Whilst Blue Knot day is officially on the Monday, other activities will be held in the week stretching from 27 October to 2 November (with November 1 & 2 being the weekend).
ASCA President, Dr Cathy Kezelman, said the significance of this year’s Blue Knot Day is growing as the issue of child sexual abuse has never been more prominent.
“In the past few years, cases once hidden have finally come to light. We need to make sure that everyone knows recovery is possible and there are people who can help,” Dr Kezelman said.
This year Blue Knot Day will focus its attention on the education and training urgently needed for health professionals and organisations working with survivors.
In the Cathedral Precinct the event was further marked by staff wearing blue and the pealing of the St Stephen’s Chapel bell at noon. The weekly Prayerfire event will also pray from the Blue Knot Day prayercard on Wednesday 29 October.
For more information on how local Catholic communities can be part of Blue Knot Day in ways big and small, simple and elaborate, please go to:
Released by the Archdiocesan Communication Office