Bishops hear from Church action group on Children Inquiry

Australia's Bishops have endorsed a series of recommendations set out in the first report of the Action Group they established to respond to the Senate Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care.

A report was presented to the Bishops at their Plenary Meeting in Sydney earlier this month.

The action group was established at the November 2004 Plenary Meeting to analyse the recommendations of the Senate inquiry, with particular reference to how they apply to the Catholic Church.

The group consists of Dr Kristen Johnston, Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes; Fr Brian Lucas, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference; Br Kevin Ryan, Christian Brothers; Mr Paul Linossier, Catholic Welfare Australia; and Ms Myolene Carrick, Catholic Welfare Australia.

The recommendations in the report must also be presented to the Leaders of Religious Institutes, at their meeting in June.

"The Action Group recognises the profound harm and justice issues that are documented by the Senate Inquiry Report and recommends that, in spite of methodological limitations of the Inquiry that were identified, the church continue and strengthen its pastoral approach to the needs of care leavers," the group's report said.

Among the recommendations endorsed by the bishops was one for Catholic Welfare to undertake a scoping study of agencies that may have a role in the ongoing response of the Church. This would be followed by state-based workshops with those agencies. A report on progress will be provided to Bishops and Leaders in 12-18 months.

The bishops also endorsed a recommendation that the Action Group be maintained as a reference group, to report to the ACBC Plenary Meeting in November 2006 and May 2007 before presenting a final report and winding up.

Meanwhile, other outcomes of the Plenary meeting were set out in a news item posted yesterday on the Bishops Conference website. The headlines in the "news briefs" posting include:

Science and religion meet on issue of climate change
Bishops discuss Sacrament of Penance
New research on abortion
Bishops' meeting infused with the spirit of Mary Mackillop
Up to 2,000 Australian pilgrims for World Youth Day in Cologne
Bishops receive Caritas update on Tsunami response
Cardinal Hamao to address Sydney conference
ACBC Appointments

Bishops' Plenary Meeting, May 2005 - News Briefs (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

20 May 2005