Catholic church to fight child abuse in Sydney

Sydney, Sep 30 (IANS) A new office to coordinate with child protection authorities to help survivors of abuse will be created, the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney said on Wednesday.

The church is under an ongoing and intensive investigation by a Royal Commission in Australia which has uncovered extensive and historical child abuse by Catholic church officials — both male and female — across Australia, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Sydney arm of the Catholic church announced the creation of a safeguarding and ministerial integrity office following a widespread archdiocesan review undertaken in the wake of the Royal Commission into child sexual and physical abuse.

It was widely reported the new unit will work with government bodies, including the New South Wales (NSW) Ombudsman and the NSW Office of the children’s guardian.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the archdiocese of Sydney said the creation of the office was aimed at achieving best practice when dealing with child protection, education, training, working with parishes and responding pastorally to survivors of abuse.

“We will also focus on the professional integrity of clergy and church workers and all those engaged in activities involving children,” Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said in the statement.

“We must deliver more than words. We must deliver action and outcomes.”

The former Archbishop of Sydney George Pell has been accused of covering up abuse by the clergy, which he has strenuously denied since taking the senior role of prefect of the secretariat for the economy at the Vatican located in Italy.

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