16 Feb 2022

Marylands child abuse 'cause of deep shame and sorrow' for Catholic Church - Archbishop

6:10 pm on 16 February 2022

Catholic Archbishop Paul Martin has told the inquiry into Abuse in Care that the stories from survivors of abuse at the Marylands School have broken his heart.

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The Catholic Church wants to do better, Archbishop Paul Martin says. Photo: Screenshot

The Royal Commission is investigating historical abuse at the special school, which was run by the Order of St John of God in Christchurch between 1955 and 1984.

Archbishop Martin, who was the Bishop of Christchurch until last year, said what was supposed to be a good place for people, became a real burden for the Church, but it is nothing like the burden the victims have carried.

''It breaks my heart to read their stories and hear some of them.

''I want to apologise and I want to convey the deep sadness that I feel and I know our Catholic people do as well, because this was an institution that was supported by the community and to know what we thought we were supporting was not actually doing what it should be doing.

''It is a cause of deep shame and sorrow.''

Martin said the Church wanted to be better.

''We don't have these institutions anymore.

"We do take it very seriously and do want to try and be better now and into the future,'' he said.

His apology, as the current Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Christchurch, follows an apology made on behalf of the wider Church by Cardinal John Dew in 2021, at the Royal Commission.

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Photo: Supplied / V C Browne & Son

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