Over the past week, there has been significant media coverage given to the passing of Fr Joseph Tran. The Executive Director of Catholic Education Western Australia, Dr Debra Sayce, and Archbishop Timothy Costelloe have released statements related to the matter. The statements can be accessed at this link: https://www.cewa.edu.au/media-release/letter-from-cewa-executive-director-was-catholic-school-communities/
When the sentence of Cardinal Pell was announced I spoke to all our secondary students and staff at a College Assembly and emphasised three points:
- Our prime consideration is to the victims and families of child sexual abuse and any other forms of abuse.
- We are respectful of any judicial processes that occur.
- We belong to a Church that needs to change. The 2020 Plenary Council provides a voice for all interested in that process of change.
It is understandable that many in the Catholic community will feel a range of emotions at this time. Anger, despair, shame, disappointment and hopelessness are all genuine feelings. I have encouraged our staff to answer questions as they are posed by our students.
Our College Liturgist, Mary-Anne Lumley wrote a beautiful prayer to share with our community this week. Part of the prayer is as follows:
Renew the fullness of your Spirit within us, so that we are strengthened in this time of shock, confusion and unanswered questions.
Let us never doubt your enduring mercy.
Give us a vision of how to rebuild your Church and make the world a better place where children and vulnerable people are loved, included, protected and can live the fullness of life that you promise.