The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry has welcomed a move by Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church to lift confidentiality obligations on survivors of abuse in the care of the Catholic Church.
The waiver applies to settlements with the specific Catholic dioceses, bishops, congregations and congregational leaders(external link). The Crown provided a similar waiver for State-based entities in August, and the Salvation Army followed suit the same month.
The Inquiry’s Counsel Assisting Simon Mount QC says the waiver means survivors of abuse can engage with the Commission freely, even if they have entered into confidential settlements with one of the listed Catholic entities in the past.
“We requested the confidentiality waiver to ensure survivors can share their experiences and effectively take part in the Inquiry, despite any settlement agreements” says Simon.
“We have the same expectation for all faith-based institutions, and indeed any institution within the scope of the Inquiry.
“We encourage survivors to register on our website to learn more about the Inquiry and find out how they can be involved. In all cases, it is entirely up to survivors whether to disclose information from a confidential settlement. The Inquiry will respect survivors’ privacy at all times.
“Through hearing from survivors, evidence and research, we will make recommendations to the Government in 2023 on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people and vulnerable adults,” he said.
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