WelCom December 2020
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is holding its faith-based hearings in two phases.
The first part of the faith-based hearing in Auckland, Monday 30 November to Friday 11 December 2020, is to hear from survivors who are sharing their experiences of abuse and the redress processes of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Salvation Army.
The first week of the hearings was based on cases involving the Catholic Church and Catholic-run institutions. In the following weeks, survivors of the other faith-based organisations are giving their evidence at separate hearings.
In the second phase of the faith-based hearing, March 2021, witnesses for the churches will give evidence.
The New Zealand Catholic bishops and Congregational leaders have been proactive in asking to be part of the Royal Commission process as a necessary step in seeking justice. They recognise this as a significant opportunity to acknowledge the Catholic Church in New Zealand’s past, to examine its failings and to listen, learn and support this process to be able to look to the future with hope.
The hearings are expected to bring increased media and public scrutiny. Although the Royal Commission process is confronting and difficult, it may encourage other survivors to come forward, perhaps for the first time, to disclose the abuse or harm they endured.
The Church’s next significant role in the Royal Commission Inquiry will be in March 2021 when the Church will be called to respond to the hearings. At these hearings, Cardinal John Dew will be among those providing evidence on redress processes on behalf of the Church.
Cardinal John has asked for prayers for victims and perpetrators, for loyal and supportive Church-goers, and ‘to pray we will be a Church that brings joy and hope, peace and kindness into the lives of all, especially those who have been hurt’.
A resource has been produced and distributed to Catholic school and parish leaders to support their communities during the Royal Commission.
For more information about the Royal Commission Inquiry see: www.abuseincare.org.nz
The phone and email contact details for the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) are: ph 0800 114 622; email firstname.lastname@example.org