New Zealand, Bishops' Commitment to Fight Abuses

New Zealand, Bishops’ Commitment to Fight Abuses

Hearings to be held by the Royal Commission on Abuses in Auckland, to give a voice to survivors of crimes committed within religious institutions, will run until 11 December. The Church and Catholic institutions are willing to listen and assume their responsibilities. Thus a note from the bishops

Isabella Pero – Vatican City

“The Catholic Church is determined to listen, learn and reflect on the testimonies of survivors” of abuse: he writes, in noteNew Zealand Bishops Conference, noting the hearings to be held by the Royal Commission on Abuse in Auckland, from today until 11 December, to give a voice to survivors of crimes committed within religious institutions. “Catholic bishops and church leaders have an obligation to meet their responsibilities to stop abuses in the Catholic Church and learn how to respond to what has happened,” says Catherine Fife, Chair of T-Ruby Tautoko, the body in charge of coordination and cooperation between the Royal Commission, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Clcanz Conference of Congregational Leaders. ). This cooperation is evidenced by the fact that the Commission has provided the Commission with a large number of required historical documents.

Bishops’ pain

Cardinal John Dew, representing the Bishops of New Zealand, affirms: “The bishops and church leaders have requested that they be involved in the work of the Royal Commission. They are committed to cooperating with it, so that past events are examined in a transparent and open manner.” The bishops are also concerned with “the implementation of any recommendations of the commission itself”. Also from the cardinal is “recognizing the harm done to so many”, to which he expressed his “deep pain”. Clcanz’s president, Sister Margaret Ann Mills, echoed him, praising “the courage of the survivors who came forward to share their experiences.” “We will listen carefully – he says – to what they have to say, reflect on their testimonies and learn from their experiences.”

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In the first part of the hearings, the Royal Commission will hear from survivors of abuses committed in the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army. Specifically, the commission itself explains, these hearings will “examine the adequacy of appeals processes and what needs to be done to support victims.”

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