A day late and a dollar short.
That was the phrase used by Dr Tom Doyle, a non-practising Catholic priest to describe the church’s apology, at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care last month, to those damaged by clergy sexual abuse.
Dr Doyle has been researching this issue since the 1980s when, as a canon lawyer stationed at the Vatican embassy in Washington, he was one of the authors of a 1985 confidential report on clergy sexual abuse of minors written for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He has been involved with pastoral care and advocacy for victims and families and has also been a consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal cases in many countries. In March, he gave an extensive submission by video link to the royal commission as part of its public hearings on redress after abuse in faith-based institutions and the entities the churches control.
In other words, he knows his stuff.