• Being Catholic
  • Mission
  • Connect
  • Healing
  • Meaning
  • Belonging

Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

When the previous Federal Government announced there would be a Royal Commission into the way institutions across Australia had, and are, responding to child sexual abuse perpetrated by people within their organisations, the leadership of the Catholic Church, through the Bishops’ Conference and Catholic Religious Australia, fully backed the decision. On 16 November 2012, Bishop Peter Ingham released a public statement welcoming the Royal Commission.

The single, overarching, message that has been sent by Church leaders is that survivors must be heard, the truth must emerge and that the Royal Commission will have the Church’s full cooperation.

As part of the Church’s response, in late 2012, the Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC), led by Francis Sullivan, was established to coordinate the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Commission, to make recommendations on reforms within the Church to the way child sexual abuse is handled and to act as the Church’s public face during the life of the Commission.

Since mid-September 2013 the Royal Commission has been holding public hearings. Public hearings are formal hearings of the Commission which are open to the public. The hearings are presided over by Royal Commissioners. Counsel Assisting will call witnesses to give evidence and be examined. Evidence will be given under oath or affirmation. The witnesses may then be examined by persons with leave to appear.

The Catholic Church first appeared in December 2013 when four Towards Healing case studies were examined. Before the end of June 2014 the Church will have been involved in at least six public hearings.

The Diocese of Wollongong has been called to appear before the Commission in a public hearing, commencing Tuesday 24 June 2014 and continuing until Friday 4 July.

The following sections provide documents and links in relation to the Royal Commission especially with regards to the Diocese of Wollongong public hearing:

Child Protection Policy

The Diocese of Wollongong, consistent with its Mission Statement, affirms the dignity and worth of all children in its care. The Diocese has a strong commitment to the wellbeing, belonging and...

Bishop Ingham's Statement following the Royal Commission Public Hearing - 2 July 2014

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, This Pastoral Letter carries my sincere gratitude for your prayerful support during the public appearance of the Diocese of Wollongong before the Royal...

Bishop Ingham's Statement on the Royal Commission Public Hearing - 4 June 2014

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, As you are aware, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been conducting public and private hearings throughout...

Public Hearing Communication Updates

During the Public Hearing, you will be able to get the following communications updates: Live Streaming The public hearing will be streamed lived at the Royal Commission...

Support Services

Discussing child sexual abuse is always difficult. For many, recalling events of the past can bring back painful memories, particularly for those telling their story for the first time. Any person...

Healing Prayer

Loving God We pray for our brothers and sisters who have been abused within our Church; that they may find justice and peace. We pray that the healing love of Jesus, expressed particularly through...

Bishop Ingham's Commitment Statement on the Royal Commission - 14 November 2013

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Commencing on Monday, 9 December 2013, at its public hearings the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will examine Towards...

Bishop Ingham's Statement on the Royal Commission - 2 April 2013

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ As you are aware, in November last year Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a Royal Commission to inquire into child sexual abuse and the responses of...

Bishop Ingham's Statement on the Royal Commission - 16 November 2012

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, As you are aware, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a Royal Commission to inquire into child sexual abuse and the responses of institutions,...