Archbishop Coleridge’s response to Pope Francis’ letter regarding sexual abuse in the Church

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Statement from Archbishop Coleridge on Pope Francis’ letter on sexual abuse

The Catholic Bishops of Australia welcome the Letter to the People of God that Pope Francis has written regarding sexual abuse in the Church. We share the Holy Father’s determination to protect young people and vulnerable adults.

What Church leaders in Australia have said in the past is consistent with what the Pope has written now: “It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others.”

These are important words from Pope Francis, but words are not enough. Now is the time for action on many levels.

The Royal Commission has done much good for this country, especially in creating a safe place for survivors to be heard and believed. We again thank the survivors who have so courageously shared their stories. Next week, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia will publish our response to the Royal Commission’s final report.

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Wordpress (2)
  • Wallace 6 years

    How about a new committee be formed with the Chairperson a lay person and the majority of the committee being lay women and lay men to respond to the Bishops’ response to the final report on the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 95% of the abuse victims were lay people.

  • Hi Wallace. The new Advisory Panel on Professional Standards that has been formed to implement child safeguarding standards consists of six people, five of whom are lay people and also women. Here is a link to the story regarding the new body: