The Truth Justice and Healing Council held its first meeting in Sydney earlier this week with discussions ranging across document procurement for the Royal Commission, systematic issues related to the protection of children and future communications about the Council’s work and the Commission’s progress.
Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Council, said it was pleasing to take the first official step as a group and to get down to work.
“We are fortunate to have an extremely experienced and diverse group of men and women on the Council to guide our work,” Mr Sullivan said.
“Through our 13 members we have expertise in child sexual abuse and its impact, including trauma, mental illness and suicide.”
After initial introductions the Council focused on how the Catholic Church achieves its aim of working with the Royal Commission in a spirit of openness, transparency and compassion.
The Council heard a detailed presentation on the complex document procurement process of the Royal Commission. It also discussed the best way to continually communicate, engage and inform the Catholic and Australian community on its work and the progress of the Commission.
“While there is a lot of difficult work ahead of us the Council members are committed to helping the church approach the Royal Commission with openness, courage and humility to enable reconciliation and lasting healing to take place,” Mr Sullivan said.
The Truth Justice and Healing Council has been established by the Catholic Church to help the Church response to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Its role is to oversee the Church’s engagement with the Commission, to develop new policies to protect young people and to ensure the Church responds to any future complaints appropriately with justice, putting the needs of victims first.