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Church distances itself from abuse

Published: 8:24PM Tuesday April 06, 2010 Source: ONE News

The Catholic Church is distancing itself from cases of child sex abuse in New Zealand.

This comes as there are fresh calls for a full-scale inquiry into abuse allegations in New Zealand.

Archbishop John Dew, the most senior member of the Catholic Church in New Zealand, has apologised for the humility and embarrassment the international scandals have caused.

Archbishop Charles Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio, the Vatican's ambassador to New Zealand and the Pacific, says he knows from the bishops in New Zealand that they take any of these kinds of accusations very seriously, and ask any victims not to be afraid to come forward and speak.

Balvo says he would endorse that.

He told TVNZ News at 8 that Archbishop Dew has just published a pastoral letter in which he repeats the apology for any abuse which has taken place.

Balvo says in his nearly five years in New Zealand, and covering most of the Pacific Islands, he has not had to forward any case of this kind to Rome.

He says most cases of abuse took place before his arrival and the Bishops in New Zealand, as far as he knows, have done their best to address the question.