Stolen Lives, Marked Souls - Report into SJOG Brothers (Marylands)
Apology to Victims & Survivors of Abuse from Church Leaders
Latest updates to Te Rōpū Tautoko's Roadmap of Actions
Te Rōpū Tautoko exists to co-ordinate and manage engagement between the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and the Catholic Church in Aotearoa, represented by the Catholic Bishops and Congregational Leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Te Rōpū Tautoko is independent from the Royal Commission. It coordinates the response of the Catholic Church to the Royal Commission, and survivors seeking support can contact the Royal Commission directly on their website.
"We participate in the processes of the Inquiry acknowledging those who have been wounded in our care. Because of, not in spite of, our own brokenness in regard to abuse we offer our lessons. They come from a place of deep humility and sorrow. All we have to offer is our own experiences and the call to justice, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, Hēhu Karaiti.
We recognise that the way to learn lessons for today and the future is to examine, understand, acknowledge and address what has occurred. We must, collectively, work towards healing."
The Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand
“I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike.
It is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.”
Pope Francis, August 2018
Report Abuse or Concerns
The Church takes all complaints of abuse seriously. Complaints of sexual abuse against church personnel in New Zealand are referred to the Church's National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS).
Increased public discussion can be the catalyst for people to come forward. We encourage anyone who has been abused by a priest or religious to contact NOPS, for your story to be heard and your complaint to be investigated. Alternately you may choose to go directly to the Police, and the Church will support anyone who requires assistance to do this.
Phone: 0800 114 622
Important Updates and Information
Confidentiality Waiver for survivors
Recognising the importance of survivors having absolute clarity regarding being able to tell their story fully to the Royal Commission, Te Rōpū Tautoko recommended to the Bishops and Congregational Leaders that they establish a process, similar to the Crowns, to enable all survivors to participate fully in the Commission.
The full text of the Waiver is available by downloading the following document.
Current Work of the Royal Commission
The Royal Commission has announced a number of thematic investigations, looking at broad themes which carry across multiple settings.
The investigations are:
- Faith-based Institutions Response
- State Institutional Response
- Disability and mental health
- Foster Care
- Māori experiences
- Pacific peoples experiences
- State and faith-based redress
- Children's State residential care
- State psychiatric care
- Protestant and Other Faiths
- Catholic Church
- Contextual hearing
- Youth Justice care
The expectation is the Royal Commission will release two more reports; a case study report into the St John God Order and it’s works and a final Inquiry Report in March 2024.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry has reported that the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (Australasia) Limited has filed an application for a judicial review of matters relating to the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Abuse in Care.
Te Rōpū Tautoko states that the bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in New Zealand are not party to the judicial review proceedings described by the inquiry today and are not aware of the details.
The bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in New Zealand asked in 2018 for the terms of reference of the inquiry to be broadened to include faith-based as well as state institutions. They have engaged with and participated with the Royal Commission since its establishment and continue to do so.
Downloads and Updates