More Catholic support for apology

Australia's Catholic Bishops, Catholic agencies and religious orders have whole heartedly thrown their support behind the Federal Government and affirmed the historic and long-awaited apology made yesterday to the Stolen Generations.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) president Archbishop Philip Wilson says the apology is a ''prophetic moment" in the country's history.

"We recall on this day our own statement, issued in 1998, in which we sought forgiveness from the victims of the policy that broke up indigenous families, for any part the Church played in causing them harm and suffering," Archbishop Wilson said in a statement.

"The Catholic Bishops of Australia wish to record our commitment to continue the healing process for the benefit of victims of the unjust policies of the past, to support the just needs of indigenous people today and to contribute to the quest for national reconciliation".

Archbishop Wilson added for "true healing" to happen there must be acknowledgment that it is point of arrival and a point of departure.

The National Council of Priests reiterated the sentiments of the ACBC commending the Government for formally apologising.

Chairman of the Council Fr Ian McGinnity said the council also voices their sorrow and regret for what happened in the past.

"We are are dedicated to promoting the well-being of indigenous Australians with all people of good-will throughout our country," Fr McGinity said.

"We commit ourselves to working towards a brighter future for all Australians."

Episcopal Vicar for Justice and Social Services for the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese Bishop Christopher Prowse expressed "delight" with the apology.

"This apology is a further major step on the long road towards healing and reconciliation for all Australians. The Archdiocese of Melbourne re-commits itself to working closely with our indigenous friends as we move forward, with hope in the future together," Bishop Prowse said.

Catholic Religious Australia has applauded the government's action and has called for the Government to collaborate with Aboriginal leaders to improve the quality of life of many whose lives have been traumatised.

National Apology to the Stolen Generations an historic and hope-filled moment for Australia (ACBC website 13/02/08)
Saying Sorry(CRA 13/02/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The National Council of Priests
Melbourne Archdiocese

14 Feb 2008