With leaders of Religious Orders, we welcome the establishment of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
It is an opportunity for those who have suffered to obtain a hearing, justice and lasting healing.
In order to work as effectively as possible with the Royal Commission, we have established a supervisory group of representatives from the Bishops and Catholic Religious Australia.
This supervisory group will establish and oversee a new Council for the Royal Commission (CRC) consisting of 10 people (including Bishops, religious and expert lay people) served by an Executive Officer.
Our hope is in its search for truth, the commission will give rise to recommendations that will improve our work in the area of professional standards.
However imperfectly, this work has been going on in the Catholic Church for the last two decades. It will continue.
However painful and difficult this might be for the Church, this is nothing compared to the hurt of those who have suffered sexual abuse, particularly by clergy and religious.
The Bishops know they have been supported in these days by the many prayers of the Australian Catholic community.
Released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
December 3, 2012