The Towards Healing Royal Commission public hearings
This public hearing explored the experiences of four Queensland residents who engaged with the Towards Healing process. Towards Healing is the Church’s protocol for responding to complaints of abuse against Church personnel.
It applies throughout Australia, with the exception of the Melbourne Archdiocese, which has its own protocol known as the Melbourne Response.
The public hearing examined the management under Towards Healing of complaints of child sexual abuse against Church personnel in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, the Diocese of Lismore and the Marist Brothers, between 1998 and 2012.
The Royal Commission heard four quite different stories which showed that people can experience Towards Healing differently, depending upon when they went through the process, the Church authority involved, and their expectations. The case studies also demonstrated the changes and differences in implementation of Towards Healing over time.
Church witnesses were examined about their implementation of Towards Healing in their respective roles, their recall of relevant events at the time and their communication with survivors.
The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, the Bishop of Lismore, Geoffrey Jarrett, and the Provincial of the Marist Brothers, Brother Jeffrey Crowe, all gave evidence. Each apologised for the abuse survivors had suffered and for the way aspects of the respective cases were handled.
Opening Statements and Witness Statements
TJHC hearing room updates
Royal Commission report of Case Study No. 4 – The experiences of four survivors with the Towards Healing process