Listening to survivor testimonies painful

NZ Catholic

February 1, 2021

By Rowena Orejana

The New Zealand Catholic Church needs to show mercy, take responsibility, and accompany abuse survivors.

This was the reaction of Te Kupenga – Catholic Theological College lecturer and abuse survivor Dr Rocio Figueroa to the “heart-wrenching testimonies” of abuse survivors at the royal commission on abuse in care hearings held from November 30 to December 4, 2020.

“It caused me deep pain, not only to listen to the stories of each of the testimonies [of people] who suffered the most atrocious abuses when they were innocent kids, but also to listen to the lack of response or hopeless way in which, many times, we have handled the disclosure within our communities,” Dr Figueroa said.

“As a member or the Catholic Church, I regret our poor response, and I apologise for all that we could have done and we have not done,” she said.

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