The Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council will conclude its work on Monday 30 April after more than five years coordinating the Church’s response to the child sexual abuse Royal Commission.
Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the TJHC, today thanked the thousands of people who had contributed to the work of the Council and more broadly the Commission.
“The past five years have been a searing experience for most people inside the Catholic Church as they have for the many thousands of survivors who have told their stories of abuse.
“Like the Royal Commission, the Council was only ever commissioned to exist for the life of the Royal Commission.
“Many good things have been achieved over the past years; reforms to legal processes, improvement in child protection practises, changes to compensation and redress arrangements.
“But by far the greatest legacy of the Commission will be the increased awareness of the appalling damage of child sexual abuse and the heightened aware that will forever keep the protection and safety of children at the very forefront of all out thinking.
“The real test of the success or otherwise of the Commission will be when we look back in five years and see that there have been changes in the way the Catholic Church and other institutions have implemented the Royal Commission’s recommendations,” Mr Sullivan said.
The Council, in one of its final acts, will this week deliver to the Church leadership the final of four reports:
• a final reflection on the Commission process with a number of recommendations for the Church;
• an analysis of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and TJHC response to each recommendation;
• an activity report which details the work of the Council over the past five years; and
• a report on reform measures implemented by Church authorities across formation, governance, legal and other issues up to 2016.
One of the key recommendations from Council is that the Church leadership establish an Implementation Advisory Group to assist the Church in addressing the Royal Commission’s final report. An announcement regarding this recommendation is expected shortly.