'Deeply sorry': New Zealand's Catholic Church apologises to victims of abuse

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 26, 2021, 01:56 PM IST

File Photo. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

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The country is currently conducting an “Abuse in Care” enquiry to ascertain the extent of abuse and to resolve historic claims

New Zealand’s Catholic Church on Friday formally apologised to the victims of abuse within the church, while acknowledging that its systems and culture must change.  

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand, Cardinal John Dew apologised at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care on behalf of congregational leaders and bishops in the country.

“Today, recognising the importance of this moment, I apologise to you on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand. I also apologise to you on behalf of those who preceded us as bishops and congregational leaders”, the Cardinal said.

The country is currently conducting an “Abuse in Care” enquiry to ascertain the extend of abuse and to resolve historic claims.

“Any kind of abuse is unacceptable and indefensible. We are deeply sorry. We acknowledge that the systems and culture of the church allowed abuse to occur. These systems and culture failed you and must change”, Cardinal John Dew said.

It is part of this enquiry that the Cardinals comments came in, along with witness statements from religious institutions. The Royal Commission was set up by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in 2018, claiming that the country must confront a “dark chapter” in its history.

The Commission was later extended to include churches, along with other religious institutions.

The enquiry revealed astounding discoveries about the extent of abuse under the church. Reportedly, kids as young as nine months old suffered years of abuse. Among other things, the victims were raped, given electric shock treatments by psychiatric and state care facilities.