Another possible path to healing
Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand welcome the news that the Government has agreed to broaden the terms of reference of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse to include ‘faith-based institutions’. As one such institution we are already aware that in some times and places our care of vulnerable children entrusted to us fell short of the ideals that our founder held for our mission, and that we now strive to uphold. We have in some cases been able to take steps toward recognition, reconciliation and healing on both sides through existing processes such as ‘A Path to Healing’, but we recognise that the Royal Commission will likely give voice to some of those we may have failed, who for whatever reason have yet to be heard.
We, along with the New Zealand Catholic Bishops and other congregations of religious, have formed Te Rōpu Tautoko, a group to ensure that the Catholic Church provides a co-ordinated and cooperative response to the Commission’s inquiry.
The existence of the Commission (and of the Catholic Church’s National Professional Standard’s Office which responds to allegations of abuse within the Church) does not prevent individuals who wish to approach us directly from doing so. We promise that if we are approached we will listen carefully to what we are told and consider how we may respond in the spirit of Mercy.
Anyone wishing to approach us should in the first instance telephone, email or write to our Leadership Office 04 831 0300, firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 12731, Thorndon, Wellington 6144.