Catholic Church’s trust CEO says its credibility is very low
IT WAS part of Francis Sullivan's job on Wednesday to tell members of Rockhampton's Catholic diocese that the credibility of their church was "very, very low".
The Catholic Church's trust, justice and healing council CEO was in Rockhampton yesterday providing local Catholic religious leaders with updates on the Royal Commission Into Child Sex Abuse.
Yesterday Mr Sullivan could not say if or when the royal commission was coming to Rockhampton.
So far there have been 18 public hearings of the royal commission, eight of which relate to conduct by the Catholic Diocese.
"The Catholic Church has a shameful and confronting history and for too long the truth hasn't come out ... this royal commission is forcing it to come out," Mr Sullivan said.
"A lot of people find this whole history of child sex abuse hypocritical of what the church is meant to stand for." The council is an independent body that gives advice to archbishops, provides all submissions to the royal commission, organises legal representations and deals with the church education process.
He said the big question now was whether the royal commission would start focusing on government departments such as child welfare and police, and how they did or didn't follow up leads on various cases.
He encouraged child sex abuse victims to come forward now, rather than leave it until later.
"It's far better to tell the story than to live the burden on your own," he said.
"One of the difficulties of this whole area is that you're talking about historical sex abuse ... people who were abused as children often won't even have recovered memories.
"In the Catholic Church, a lot of the offenders are dead and of course there are no witnesses and it's hard to get corroborating evidence."