Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB issued a statement on Monday after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a Royal Commission into institutions run by church and state.
In response to media enquiries this afternoon, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, the Catholic Archbishop of Perth, has indicated that he welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister announcing the establishment of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in religious and other institutions.
“As I have said on other occasions”, he commented, “sexual abuse of minors is a terrible scourge in our community. It is both a crime and an attack on the innocence and vulnerability of children and young people.
“As the Archbishop of Perth I intend to co-operate fully with the Royal Commission. I want the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Perth to play its part in dealing as fully and as honestly as it can with this terrible problem.
“I note the Prime Minister has determined that the Royal Commission will examine the question of the sexual abuse of minors across a wide spectrum of our society.
“It is my view that this presents our society with a vitally important opportunity to come to grips with a problem that is unfortunately very widespread.
“I also note that the Prime Minister has indicated that it will take some time to determine the terms of reference for the Royal Commission. I will be able to make a more detailed response once the terms of reference have been finalised.
“I encourage all people of good will to fully support this inquiry and I reiterate my determination that the Catholic Church in Perth will do everything in its power to work with others to address this most urgent of issues.”