THE Catholic Church in Australia has appointed the leaders of a new council established to co-ordinate its engagement with the upcoming royal commission on child sexual abuse.
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday announced former New South Wales Supreme Court chief judge Barry O’Keefe and former Australian Medical Association secretary-general Francis Sullivan to lead the 10-person Truth, Justice and Healing Council.
The council is expected to include a representative group of Catholics and will co-ordinate the church’s “embrace” of the royal commission and provide feedback to Catholic leaders.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Maitland Bishop William Wright have already been appointed to the council.
“I am confident that the royal commission will enable an examination of the issues associated with child abuse nationally and the identification of measures for better preventing and responding to child abuse in all those institutions that work with children,” Archbishop Hart said in a statement.
The Victorian inquiry into institutional sexual abuse will resume public hearings in Melbourne on Monday, with representatives of the Care Leavers Australia Network, Law Institute of Victoria and Ryan Carlisle Thomas Lawyers to give evidence.
Bishop Paul Bird said last week that all documents requested from the Diocese of Ballarat would be supplied to the Victorian inquiry, and preparations were being made to facilitate requests.