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Reconciliation    CHURCH BODIES RESPOND TO STOLEN GENERATIONS CASE
The Catholic Church has regretted Friday's outcome of the Stolen Generations court case, and called on the Federal Government to explore non-judicial ways of apologising and redressing the suffering caused.
    The chairmen of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC), Mr Peter Smith and Bishop William Brennan, said that spending money on court cases will not restore relationships or contribute to the healing of those who have been harmed.
    While accepting evidence that Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner were the victims of assaulted while under care after being removed from their families more than four decades ago, Justice Maurice O'Loughlin on Friday dismissed the landmark compensation case against the Commonwealth, brought by members of the Northern Territory Stolen Generations.
    Mr Smith and Bishop Brennan said: "We call on the Federal Parliament to explore seriously non judicial processes for acknowledging the suffering of the Stolen Generations and ensuring that adequate resources are available to do everything possible for their healing. For justice to be done, policy errors need to be admitted, the harm that resulted from such policies acknowledged, and its on-going effects addressed."
    They emphasised that a humane response is the only way to address the issue of the the suffering caused by Government policy and the Church's part in carrying it out.
    They said: "The issue is not fundamentally about money compensation, but rather about making relationships right."
   
ACSJC
   
12 Aug 00



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