A new advisory group announced yesterday is set to play a crucial role in influencing and monitoring the Church in Australia’s ongoing response to the child sexual abuse scandal. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
The Implementation Advisory Group has been established by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.
Archbishop Denis Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the new group will monitor the response to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse and the recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which led the Church’s engagement with the commission.
Sr Ruth Durick OSU, president of Catholic Religious Australia, said: “There is a huge body of work completed by survivors, the royal commissioners and the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.
“The task of the Implementation Advisory Group is to be propositional as to the necessary reforms that Catholic institutions and communities will have to implement to be places of safety and transparency and places where we authentically live out our commitment to the values and vision of the Gospels.”
Sr Ruth and Archbishop Hart said three key groups will take forward the work arising from the royal commission and the work led “prophetically and generously” by Francis Sullivan and the Truth Justice and Healing Council: Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, the National Redress Reference Group and the Implementation Advisory Group.
“It is necessary that the groups work together to identify gaps in response and monitor progress to date in all areas of reform for the Church in Australia as it responds to the crisis, the recommendations of the royal commission and the work of the Truth Justice and Healing Council,” Archbishop Hart said.
Implementation Advisory Group chair Jack de Groot said its role is to provide leadership by “influencing all Catholic organisations – whether lay, religious or episcopal – in ensuring that we move to build a healthy culture that lives from a theology that has learned the lessons of the child abuse tragedy”.
“There is much work to do. We need to build on the very good practices that Church agencies have already put in place and, in doing so, we will be assisted by the royal commission's recommendations on governance, transparency, accountability, consultation and participation of lay women and men,” Mr de Groot said.