Australia's five archbishops said they would consider asking the Vatican for clarification on concerns raised in a government inquiry into sexual abuse of children in the church.
Five Australian archbishops testified before a government commission on child sexual abuse, reiterating apologies and taking responsibility for actions that occurred before they were church leaders.
U.S. Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, who served as a canon lawyer at the Vatican nunciature in Washington and spent decades working with abuse victims, told members of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he hoped their report would have a profound effect in the Vatican. He urged the commissioners to prioritize care for the victims.
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, announced the closing of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, citing low enrollment.
As Cardinal George Pell testifies long-distance, Australia's church remains at the center of the royal commission on child sexual abuse.
While abuse in the church was "sickening" and "shameful," the great majority of cases occurred in non-institutional settings, wrote Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
New Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has pledged to regain the confidence of Australian Catholics and the broader community in the wake of the church's sexual abuse scandal.
Pope Francis named the bishop of Parramatta and former auxiliary bishop of Sydney to succeed Cardinal George Pell, now prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy.
"There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first," Fisher said.
The Catholic church in Australia is going through a period of scrutiny, he said.
Australian survivors of clerical sexual abuse have been complaining for years about their dissatisfaction with Towards Healing, the Catholic church's national protocol for responding to abuse.
Following "appropriate diplomatic channels," the Vatican's nuncio to Australia on Dec. 6 turned over requested documents to a state sex abuse commission.
Copies of correspondence show the papal nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, claimed diplomatic immunity in response to repeated requests for archival documentation.