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Queensland bishops announce contribution to abuse fund

The Catholic and Anglican Bishops of Queensland yesterday announced their intention to make a financial contribution to the Forde Foundation trust fund set up by the Queensland Government in response to the findings of the Forde Inquiry.

The Trust Fund was established to respond to the needs of those found to have been disadvantaged or adversely affected by their experiences as residents in Government and Church-run institutions in Queensland throughout the last century.

Quoting from a Pastoral Letter to be released in all Anglican and Catholic Parishes on nominated weekends in June, the Church leaders said, "The Forde Commission of Inquiry heard of tragic cases of emotional, physical, sexual and systems abuse. Where it occurred, this abuse and deprivation have deeply affected some former residents. While many of them have subsequently done well, some former residents have been unjustly disadvantaged by their limited life skills and educational opportunities."

Anglican and Catholic Church communities will be asked to contribute through a collection on the nominated weekend. "This appeal is made for those who still bear the pain of inadequate past care. It will supplement other funds and pastoral responses that will try to ease this hurt which was tragically brought about in Church institutions and for which we are deeply sorry", the Church leaders said.

While recognising the positive help that has already been given by relevant Church bodies to some former residents and the direct payments made by a few Church bodies to the Foundation, the Statement by the Churches acknowledges that, for various reasons most of the Churches have not yet contributed directly to this Trust Fund.

Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (Forde Inquiry)

Catholic Communications (Brisbane)

12 Jun 2002