The Aotearoa Catholic Te Rōpū Tautoko exists to co-ordinate and manage cooperation 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 is not a support group for survivors. 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…
…The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.”
Pope Francis, August 2018
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 publicity can be the catalyst for people to come forward. We encourage anyone who has been abused by a priest or religious to contact them, 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
and sharing your story
The Royal Commission’s Faith-based Redress Hearing will run from Monday 23 November to Friday 11 December 2020.
This hearing will focus on the redress processes of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Salvation Army. If you have made a claim about abuse in any of these institutions, The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry would like to heart from you so that they can ensure your story is heard.
If you or someone you know wishes to share your story please use the link below or phone the Royal Commission on 0800 222 727.
Other ways to engage are included in the document below (‘Important Information on Redress Hearing’), which also sets out the commission’s schedule of hearings.
Recognising the importance of survivors having absolute clarity regarding being able to fully tell their story 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.
To that end, the following document states that if anyone has “signed a confidential settlement relating to an abuse claim with a Catholic Bishop, Diocese, Congregation, or Congregational leader who is listed in Appendix 1 of this document (Catholic Entities), or with any predecessors of such entities, these Catholic Entities agree to waive any relevant confidentiality obligation or any other clause that might stop free communication with the Royal Commission”.
The full text of the Waiver is available by downloading the following document.
Press Release: Catholic Church welcomes Marylands inquiry
June 22, 2020
Documents of the Royal Commission
Newsletters, Reports, Policies, and more
Te Rōpū Tautoko