Nga Pāpāho - Media and Communications
Bishop Steve Lowe speaks
Bishop Steve regularly speaks to the Diocese via a video. To access messages please visit our Diocesan YouTube Channel.
1 February 2022
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Today the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand has published its abuse statistics as part of its participation in the Royal Commission into Abuse in State and Faith-Based organisations. One of the reasons the Church asked to be part of the Royal Commission was our recognition that we have to be transparent about our tragic history and acknowledge that priests and religious and lay people employed by the Church have abused, and their abuse has inflicted immense damage on vulnerable people entrusted to the Church’s care and that this abuse scars many of them with ongoing trauma.
For this the Church is deeply apologetic and deeply ashamed. As the current Bishop of Auckland and Apostolic Administrator of Hamilton, I personally want to apologise for the harm caused by those who have abused in the two Dioceses and to express my commitment to working to create a safe Church and to working with survivors.
The statistics make very sad and distressing reading. As part of our response to the Royal Commission we have provided details of every complaint that we have received. The statistics include all complaints made, even those not necessarily upheld. Complaints are upheld on balance of probability. The statistics include complaints of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. The number of complaints are far too many, particularly up to the 1970s. The fact that complaints continue to be received is a reminder that we are dealing with the flawed dimension of human nature. This is not just a Church problem, this is also a problem in our society.
Media Release : click here to read