The New Zealand Catholic Bishops and representation from Catholic religious orders have written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the Minister for Children, Tracey Martin and Sir Anand Satyanand, Chair of New Zealand’s Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care, supporting the Royal Commission and seeking inclusion of religious institutions.
The letter, signed by Bishop Patrick Dunn, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and Sister Katrina Fabish RSM, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, offers full support for the work of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and seeks a broadening of the Inquiry’s terms of reference to include a range of Church institutions.
“We are of the firm view that no individual should be denied the possibility of making a submission to this Government inquiry. It would be wrong if some individuals felt excluded from this process simply because their path of referral to an institution was different from someone else’s.”
The letter concludes by reaffirming the Catholic church leaders’ support for the Inquiry and stating its desire to be involved.
“We assure you once again of our support and our desire to learn from this national undertaking which we are confident will contribute positively to the strengthening and safeguarding of our whānau, communities and society.”