09 Sep 2016


On Monday 12th September, 2016 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commences its public hearing into John Joseph Farrell, a former priest of the Diocese.

I have great confidence in the Royal Commission and in the process of public hearings. It is important that we listen to the truth which will emerge from the hearing. At this time I will hold in my heart the suffering and the pain of those who were abused.

The public hearing may be a painful experience for many, both survivors and their families and also members of the Catholic Church community more broadly. But through this pain, and through the light of truth, it is my hope that survivors and those affected by their abuse will obtain a new measure of healing and hope from the hearing process.

When Pope Francis met with survivors of abuse in Philadelphia in 2015 he remarked that “God weeps for the sexual abuse of children.” This phrase reflects how deeply, gravely and unequivocally wrong the abuse of children has been and always will be. I share this view and once again I apologise to survivors who were abused by John Farrell.

I encourage anyone who needs support or who wishes to report an instance of abuse to come forward by contacting the Chancery Office on 6772 4971 or emailing the office


Most Reverend Michael Kennedy

Bishop of Armidale


Media contact: Michael Salmon 0417 495 018 

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