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Brisbane Church responds to Nazareth House abuse revelations

Brisbane Archdiocese Chancellor Fr James Spence has acknowledged "with deep regret" the distress felt by former residents of Nazareth House who filed statements of claim in the Supreme Court in 1999 against the Sisters of Nazareth and the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Abuses dating back to the 1940s were the subject of an investigative report in this week's issue of The Bulletin magazine.

Fr Spence said the Sisters have acted independently in mediating with the complainants, as the Archbishop has had no involvement in the day to day running of the orphanage or direct responsibility for those children placed in the care of the Sisters.

The Archdiocese has always denied any involvement in the complaints made by former child residents, and therefore declined to negotiate on any of the complaints or participate in mediation.

Fr Spence was speaking on behalf of Archbishop John Bathersby, who was attending a conference of Queensland Bishops in Cairns. He said that other issues raised in The Bulletin article in relation to the Towards Healing program would be looked at in a review of the program, which is currently taking place.

Meanwhile, The Australian newspaper reports that four of the nuns accused of abusing children at a Brisbane orphanage are still alive and should be brought to justice, one of their victims said yesterday.

Abuse spotlight on Sisters of Nazareth (29/8/02)
Sisters of Nazareth
Breach of Faith (The Bulletin)
Orphanage abuse allegations (ABC Radio 'AM')

Catholic Communications (Brisbane)

30 Aug 2002