Cardinal says NZ Church ‘ashamed’ by abuse

Cardinal John Dew wore a suit and tie at the hearing due to a direction from the royal commission (NZ Catholic)

Cardinal John Dew told a royal commission of inquiry that the Church in New Zealand is ashamed and saddened that people suffered abuse while in its care. Source: NZ Catholic.

The cardinal spoke during opening statements by the Church at the second phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care’s hearing on redress in Auckland on Monday.

“Our hope is that this commission will lead us and help us to be a better Church – and that is a Church (in which) this disgrace of abuse will be addressed, will cease, and our Church will always be a Church that gives life and hope. That’s our mission as a Church.

“It is always to give life, the life that Christ offers us. We know that, in this, we still have much to learn.”

The redress hearing is one of several involving the Church in the overall royal commission, which is looking primarily at abuse from 1950 to 1999, although experiences outside these years may also be heard. Abuse being investigated includes sexual, physical, emotional, psychological abuse and neglect.

Cardinal Dew said he was grateful that the Church was being given the opportunity to engage in the hearing, “to continue our learning and to learn with you.”

He greeted survivors present and said he wanted “to assure you that we have listened, and we are listening.”

“I and we are ashamed and saddened by what has happened.”

Cardinal Dew was dressed in a suit and tie while he addressed the hearing. The royal commission directed that no attendees at public hearings should wear religious attire or uniforms, as that could be triggering for survivors, “and survivor well-being is integral to the work of the inquiry.”

FULL STORY

NZ cardinal says Church ‘ashamed and saddened’ by abuse (By Michael Otto, NZ Catholic

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