A letter from Bishop Vincent Long about the Royal Commission final report

A letter about the Royal Commission final report from Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, 15 December 2017



Dear friends,

Re: The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

After five years of work, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has submitted its final report to government and will now come to an end. The Diocese of Parramatta will continue working with police and other relevant authorities to ensure the Catholic Church remains as safe as possible for children and other vulnerable people.

In its submissions, the Royal Commission has released its reports on Case Study 44 relating to the Diocese of Parramatta (this report has not yet been made public) and Case Study 50 relating to Catholic Church in Australia. The Diocese of Parramatta now begins the process of reviewing this material.

I would again like to offer my unreserved and deepest apologies to survivors of abuse and their families for the hurt and suffering this abuse has caused throughout their lives. As the leader of the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, I am absolutely committed to ensuring that no child is ever harmed again.

The Diocese acknowledges our past failings have led to irreversible harm being inflicted upon children. Whilst we seek to repair this fundamental breach of trust that was placed in us, we understand that trust is for some people perhaps broken forever.

Our past failings cannot be undone. However, we remain steadfast in our future commitments to ensure our current child-protection processes and procedures offer a safeguard from predatory behaviour.

We pray that those we have harmed are able to find some level of comfort and justice from the findings that have been delivered today.

The Diocese of Parramatta encourages anyone who was abused in any way to contact our Office of Safeguarding & Professional Standards on (02) 8838 3419 or safeguarding@parra.catholic.org.au. Concerns or allegations about any criminal offence should be reported to NSW Police on 131 444.

For anyone seeking more information about protocols or support services in Catholic Schools run by the Diocese of Parramatta they may contact the Child Protection Information Line 1300 661 015.

For further information please contact the Diocese of Parramatta Communications Office – (02) 8838 3400 or comms@parra.catholic.org.au.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv

Bishop of Parramatta