Queensland Church leaders have rejected allegations that the churches have failed to respond adequately to recommendations from the Forde Inquiry into institutional child abuse.
    A joint statement from five senior churchmen issued on Tuesday said recent media coverage of the Churches' response to the inquiry recommendations had failed to paint an accurate picture of their involvement in assisting the victims of abuse.
    The statement was signed for the Catholic Church by Brisbane Archdiocesan chancellor, Fr Jim Spence, as well as representatives of the Salvation Army and the Anglican and Uniting Churches.
    The criticism of the churches followed the 24 August tabling in the Queensland Parliament of the first report of the Forde Inquiry Monitoring Committee set up 12 months ago by the Government to examine implementation of the inquiry's recommendations followind wide-ranging reports of abuse at church and state-run institutions.
    The senior churchmen said in their statement that the Churches had played "a pivotal role in helping victims re-establish confidence, personal esteem, social relationships and emotional well-being".
    "Despite the massive publicity surrounding the Forde Inquiry, the fact remains that few former residents have come forward with claims against the Churches."
Catholic Leader
1 Sep 00

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