The Catholic Church in New Zealand formally apologized to abuse victims within the church on Friday. Cardinal John Dew, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, apologized to the royal commission appointed to investigate abuse in Church health care facilities.
“Today, considering how important this moment is, I express my regret to you, also on behalf of the bishops and other religious leaders,” said Dew. “I also apologize on behalf of those who have preceded us as bishops and leaders of the Catholic Church.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the establishment of the Royal Commission in 2018, saying the country had to face “a dark chapter in its history.” Although initially focused on healthcare institutions, the churches themselves and other religious institutions were later added to the survey.
An interim report released in December last year showed that between the 1960s and the early 21st century, up to a quarter of a million children, young people and vulnerable adults were physically and sexually assaulted in the institutions.
Babies barely nine months old have been abused
Babies as young as nine months old are said to have been abused by staff, clergy and foster parents. Among other things, the victims were raped and underwent electric shock treatments.
“We recognize that the system and culture within the Church have made this abuse possible. This system and culture has failed you and must change,” said Dew.
The royal commission will advise the government on the matter later this year.
Source site www.nu.nl