Above: John Crowley [left] with Cardinal Sean O'Malley [centre]
On the 15th January, I departed Australia on a 5-week journey to investigate examples of where Catholic agencies and parishes are offering essential ongoing support services to victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse. With St Patrick's College featuring prominently in Case Study 28 examined by the Royal Commission in Australia over the past 3 years and given the College's commitment to walking fully in solidarity with victims and survivors, the search for inspirational programs and people to illuminate a path forward will form an important part of our own ongoing journey towards the hope of healing within our community.
So far, I have visited the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, held informative meetings with hope-filled survivors in Ireland and London and spent time with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and key personnel in his team. In addition, I presented a paper on our journey in Ballarat to post graduate students in the Child Safeguarding Course at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.What has become clear throughout my journey and conversations so far is that the sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church has occurred on an unimaginable scale worldwide. I have spoken to a number of inspirational people who remain fundamentally committed to acknowledging this abuse openly and honestly, providing essential support networks for victims and survivors, as well as setting up procedures and programs to ever strengthen child protection within the church and in schools.
The example set by these people provides energy to continue to seek ways of offering ongoing support and care of survivors in our own community in Ballarat.
|Tags: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia wellbeing|