02 February 2016: Father Peter G Williams letter about the movie ‘Spotlight’
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The movie Spotlight currently screening in Australian cinemas is an important documentary drama on the evil of child abuse. The movie highlights the abuse of children committed by some priests and the cover up of these crimes by the Archdiocese of Boston.
Whilst it may be distressing to watch, such a movie reminds those within the Church and the wider community of the horrific impact of child sexual abuse. The movie may be particularly painful for survivors of sexual abuse.
Any person distressed by the movie, or requiring any pastoral and counselling support in relation to abuse from within the Church, may contact The Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards on email email@example.com or phone on (02) 8838 3419.
The Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards maintains oversight of all Diocesan agencies to maintain robust systems of accountability and support to keep children and other vulnerable people safe. Any questions or concerns about the response of the Diocese of Parramatta to child sexual abuse should be directed to this office.
As part of the Diocesan Safeguarding approach members of the public are encouraged to bring any information related to child sexual abuse to the attention of New South Wales Police through Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.
I am hopeful that Spotlight will promote dialogue in the Church, families and the wider community in relation to the protection of children and vulnerable people in all situations. Such dialogue is welcomed by the Diocese as we continue to work at ensuring effective transparent and accessible procedures to keep children and vulnerable people safe from abuse.
I invite all people of the Diocese to join me in prayer that our combined efforts may lead to the greater protection of children and vulnerable people, and to justice and healing for victims of sexual abuse.
With prayerful good wishes.
Very Reverend Peter G Williams