Catholic Bishop prepares for ‘challenging’ 2015

Catholic Bishop prepares for ‘challenging’ 2015

The Catholic bishop of Maitland-Newcastle says he heads into 2015 knowing the Royal Commission into child abuse could turn its attention to the diocese.

The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is investigating how institutions like churches have responded to allegations of abuse.

The Maitland-Newcastle diocese was the focus of a state government initiated special commission of inquiry that recommended one senior church official be prosecuted.

Bishop Bill Wright said the year ahead could be challenging.

“We do expect that perhaps later in 2015 there will be some attention back on Catholic institutions in the Royal Commission, as we understand it,” he said.

“You know, that could engage us a bit more again in that sort of side of life, and that makes for difficult times whenever it is very immediate to us.”

Developing more social housing is a focus of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese heading into the new year.

The Church has spent the past few years planning for developments to meet a gap in the affordable housing market.

Several villas came on line during the year at Mayfield, including two for people with disabilities.

Bishop Wright said other projects are planned so long as funding permits.

“We’re looking to develop another block at Maitland,” he said.

“Then in effect the Government funding for this scheme runs out but we’re exploring ways that we might be able to do some of these things by ourselves anyway.”


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