THE distribution of more than 70,000 information flyers will give Catholics throughout Brisbane archdiocese and the rest of Australia greater understanding of the Church’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The flyers outline the role of the Truth Justice and Healing Council in engaging with the Royal Commission and its role as an advisory group to Catholic Church leadership on the many issues around child sexual abuse.
TJHC chief executive officer Francis Sullivan said “the flyers provide a very clear snap shot of what the council is doing and how, as a Church, we are approaching the Royal Commission”.
The flyers will be distributed to parishes from diocesan offices and should be in churches vestibules before December 9.
The distribution will coincide with start of the Royal Commission’s examination of the Towards Healing protocols which from 1996 formed the basis of the Church’s response to complaints of abuse and procedures to be followed in responding to individual complaints.
The Royal Commission will examine the Church’s Towards Healing response for a fortnight.
More than 10 different versions of the information flyers have been produced, including different quotes from local bishops and congregational leaders about sexual abuse within the Church.
Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said: “We must put survivors and those damaged first.”
“They need to be supported and encouraged to speak, and their voices need to be heard, particularly if they have been silenced by fear and shame,” he said.
“It will be painful, even traumatic for many.”
PDF and print files of the flyers can be found at: http://www.tjhcouncil.org.au/catholic-community/community-resources/area-specific-tjhc-information-flyers.aspx
Meanwhile, Mr Sullivan has written to more than 1500 Catholic priests and women and men from religious orders across Australia encouraging support for the activities of Blue Knot Day and the possibility of recovery for the victims of child sexual abuse.
Blue Knot Day and other activities finished last Sunday, November 3.
The week’s activities are part of an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the victims of child sexual abuse group, Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma.