As you are probably aware, on television tonight, the ABC will broadcast the first episode of a three-part series called Revelation. It is being billed as an in-depth examination of the issue of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I expect that the series will be a cause of anguish for many, especially victims and survivors. I expect that the series will be confronting and painful to our faith communities, because it will, again, lay bare the failings of members and leaders in our Church.
If the program or any other events are affecting your wellbeing, I recommend that you seek support. It might be helpful to seek professional help from a counsellor or at least speak about the issue with a trusted friend.
Much commentary suggests that the Church “hasn’t changed” or is “in denial”. This is not correct. The Church has taken significant steps to better respond to child sexual abuse over the past 30 years. That progress is outlined in this document.
Our obligation to protect vulnerable people and to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse and misconduct is ongoing and is of the highest priority for bishops and other Church leaders.
May Christ guide us all in our care for those who have suffered and in our care for all the members of our communities.
God bless you day by day.
Bishop Paul Bird.
A guide to the Church’s response to child sexual abuse – click here.