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Amid Australian government inquiry, archbishop apologizes for priests’ abuse

Catholic World News - December 09, 2013

As the Australian government’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to Australian dioceses, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth apologized to victims and the wider community.

“As the Royal Commission conducts its investigation, terrible stories of abuse of children and young people by Catholic priests, religious and other Church workers, will be revealed or, in some cases, revisited,” he said in a letter. “I therefore want to repeat what I have said before by offering my sincere and unreserved apology to all those inside and outside our community who have suffered this terrible abuse. I want to apologize to your families, loved ones and friends who have suffered with you and alongside you. I know that words can appear cheap. I can only ask you to believe that I mean what I say.”

“I also want to apologize to our Catholic family here in the Archdiocese of Perth for the many ways in which the leadership of the Church, at many levels, has sometimes failed to respond adequately to this deplorable reality in our midst,” he continued.

“I want to apologize to the wider community for our failure to live up to the high ideals to which we as a Church aspire,” he added. “As Archbishop I recognize that our society needs a strong, faithful Catholic Church which is marked by integrity. In spite of the goodness of the greater majority of Catholic people, laity, religious and clergy alike, this terrible scourge of child sexual abuse shows us that there have been too many failures, too many betrayals, and consequently too many damaged lives.”

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