Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - After the words of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has apologized for the suffering of children in institutional care in the 20th century. These are children who, by a colonial ideology that despised the local culture, were removed with their families, adopted or sent to orphanages and forced to undergo "reeducation," suffering violence and abuse.
As Agenzia Fides learns from the local Church, the Bishops' Conference has echoed the landmark position taken by the Australian Government which has accepted its responsibility and apologized to these people: "We are also deeply regretful for the hurt caused whenever the Church’s response has denied or minimized the pain that victims have experienced," said Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, recalling the document "Towards Healing,” published in 1996, when the Church already addressed the issue, asking forgiveness for their shortcomings.
"We pray that this apology, delivered by the Prime Minister in the national parliament, will play an
important role in healing many of the wounds which were laid bare with great courage before the
Senate Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care,” he added.
Prime Minister Rudd, during a Parliament hearing in Canberra, said: "Sorry - for the tragedy, the absolute tragedy, of childhoods lost,- childhoods spent instead in austere and authoritarian places," he continued, “Sorry - for the tragedy, the absolute tragedy, of childhoods lost,- childhoods spent instead in austere and authoritarian places.” (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/11/2009)