Bishop of the Diocese the Most Reverend Geoffrey Jarrett has made an apology to sexual assault victims and their families.
Bishop Jarrett said history would never repeat itself, thanks to a range of new policies and procedures now in place.
Speaking on behalf of the Lismore Catholic Schools Office, Bishop Jarrett wrote to the parents of St Carthage’s and Trinity schoolchildren in light of the recent revelations of past child sexual abuse by two Marist Brothers employed at the schools.
‘While the events that occurred are historic, they are nonetheless disturbing and unacceptable,’ Bishop Jarrett wrote.
‘The emotional and psychological pain by the victims of the clerical child abuse and their families is real and acknowledged.
‘Through the mishandling and, in some cases, concealment of child sexual abuse, Church leaders have betrayed the trust of all people of faith and amplified the pain for victims.’
Bishop Jarrett said as a current leader of the Catholic Church, he gave his unreserved and heartfelt apology to victims of this heinous crime.
‘The Catholic Church supports the work of the Royal Commission and through it, the Diocese of Lismore will work to ensure that the whole truth is revealed,’ he wrote.
‘The current procedures and practices for the Church personnel to protect the vulnerable, including school children, are vastly different and improved from those of the past.’
The Diocese of Lismore is fully compliant with NSW child protection legislation.’