The question many will be asking of a high profile conference in the Vatican on child protection is when and how the leadership of one of the world's largest institutions will convert principles into action.
Many have already voiced their disbelief that anything will change. There is a lingering suspicion born out of an apparent disconnect between the inscrutable and often obdurate world headquarters of the Catholic Church and the all-too-real suffering felt at a local level in Ballarat and many other places.
Perhaps the objectives are shared; to heal all those whom abuse has crushed and set in place iron-clad protections for the future, but the proof will be in converting intentions into demonstrable change.
For many of the survivors, after lives of unrelieved torment, there is an understandable scepticism that well-intentioned words will revert to defensive reaction and a reputational siege-mentality.
The notion that child abuse can or could be kept secret and handled 'in-house' is now recognised to be not only ludicrous but extremely dangerous. The toxic miasma which the largest of religious institutions sought to stifle for decades has long since escaped. It knows, or should know, it has a world wide scourge on its hands that has not only undermined its moral credibility but threatens its very existence.
The Catholic Church is not alone in this guilt but its prominence and the severity of its corruption, demand it leads in restitution and repair, or remain a despised shadow of its old authority.
Here in Australia the searing prominence of the Royal Commission and so many high profile court cases have meant the abuse of children has never been far from the headlines.
In the wake of this, it is heartening to see action, at least at a grassroots level. Ballarat, where the scourge has been so widespread, has taken its first tentative steps toward healing.
And there is also a nascent recognition higher up in the church hierarchy of the profound cultural elements responsible for this withering failure.
If the Pope himself wants to “discover the dynamics that made it possible for such attitudes and evils to occur” then Australia's envoy to the Vatican conference, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge is talking about the vital cultural shift needed to make amends.
The talking points at the conference in Rome at least signal the intentions are serious.
Better and more immediate reporting, more transparency and collaboration with laity and experts, better recruitment filtering and swifter and more meaningful justice for perpetrators and victims alike.
This includes point 15, an end to public ministry for guilty clerics. More fine words?
The defrocking of no less than a Cardinal this week; American Theodore McGarrick shows the unprecedented steps needed in modern times.
The lessons will be vital because they need to apply to all institutions or else we are doomed to see the horror again in a different place, institution or time.