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Catholic Church must show it really has changed, says abuse survivors support group

The Catholic Church in Australia must show it “really has changed” and always places the safety of children above the institution and its clergy, according to child abuse survivors support organisation, the Blue Knot Foundation.

In a statement released after the Catholic Church made its formal response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday, Dr Cathy Kezelman, president of the Blue Knot Foundation, said the church “must act – not just speak”.

“This is not about forgiveness and sin. This is about criminal acts against children.”

She said this meant the church needed to show that, as well as always placing the safety of children first and complying with civil law over canon law when this is at risk, it must show those responsible for crimes against children will be brought to justice “with mandatory reporting” and that those complicit in covering up crimes will be brought to account “regardless of who they are at what their role in the church is”.

Kezelman also described mandatory celibacy as a “practice of the past”.

“Any factor which contributes to the possibilities of sexual crimes against children must be addressed and celibacy is implicated,” she said.



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