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Statement regarding Bulletin (3/9/02) Nazareth House abuse claims

In response to the article in “The Bulletin” (3/9/02)
Complaints of abuse at Nazareth House Orphanage

Father James Spence, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, said today that the Archdiocese acknowledged with deep regret the distress felt by former residents of Nazareth House who filed statements of claim in the Supreme Court in 1999 against the Sisters of Nazareth and the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Nazareth House at Wynnum was run by the Sisters of Nazareth and was licensed under the Infant Life Protection Act 1905 to provide care for infants. In 1964 it became licensed to care for children of any age.

The Archdiocese had no involvement in the day to day running of the orphanage or direct responsibility for those children placed in the care of the Sisters.

The Archdiocese has always denied any involvement in the complaints made by former child residents, and therefore declined to negotiate on any of the complaints or participate in mediation.

The Sisters of Nazareth acted independently in mediating with the complainants.

Although complaints against some priests who ministered at Nazareth House were mentioned in the log of claims made in the Supreme Court action, these priests, now deceased, were from religious orders and not priests from the Brisbane Archdiocese.

Father Spence spoke on behalf of Archbishop John Bathersby who is attending a conference of Queensland Bishops in Cairns.

Father Spence said that other issues raised in The Bulletin article in relation to the Towards Healing program would be looked at in a review of the program, which is currently taking place.

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