30 Nov 2012

Catholic council to work with Royal Commission

1:45 pm on 30 November 2012

The Catholic Church in Australia says it will set up a special council to work with the National Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse.

The Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday announced it has established a supervisory group of 10 representatives and religious institutions to establish and oversee the new council.

In a statement in Sydney, the bishops again welcomed the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse.

"It is an opportunity for those who have suffered to obtain a compassionate hearing, justice and further healing," the conference said.

"Once again, we renew our heartfelt apology to those whose lives have been so grievously harmed by the evil perpetrated upon them by some priests, religious and church personnel."

AAP reports the statement said the inquiry would be "painful and difficult" for the church, but that was nothing compared to the hurt of those who had suffered sexual abuse, particularly at the hands of clergy and members of religious orders.

"Our hope is that, in its search for truth, the royal commission will present recommendations ensuring the best possible standards of child protection in our country."