In a pastoral letter to priests and parishioners Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the hearing would look at specific historical case studies that occurred in Catholic Church institutions from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
“The media coverage of these public hearings will be difficult and challenging both for the victims of sexual abuse and for the Church faithful,” he said.
Archbishop Coleridge said “the Church fully and unreservedly acknowledged the devastating, deep ongoing impact of sexual abuse on the lives of the victims and their families”.
“For this the Church is deeply sorry,” he said.
Archbishop Coleridge said stringent child protection practices and procedures in place today were vastly different from those of 40 years ago.
He has also asked those aware of any allegations against Church personnel or who have been abused to contact the police.
“The Catholic Church has in place its sexual abuse victim’s pastoral and reparation scheme, Towards Healing, which will be able to provide help and assistance,” he said.
Archbishop Coleridge said Towards Healing in Queensland can be contacted on 1800 337 928.
He also urged people to make themselves familiar with the Commitment Statement from Leaders of the Catholic Church in Australia to support the work of the Royal Commission.
– Robin Williams