While abuse in the church was "sickening" and "shameful," the great majority of cases occurred in non-institutional settings, wrote Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
New Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has pledged to regain the confidence of Australian Catholics and the broader community in the wake of the church's sexual abuse scandal.
Pope Francis named the bishop of Parramatta and former auxiliary bishop of Sydney to succeed Cardinal George Pell, now prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy.
"There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first," Fisher said.
The Catholic church in Australia is going through a period of scrutiny, he said.
Australian survivors of clerical sexual abuse have been complaining for years about their dissatisfaction with Towards Healing, the Catholic church's national protocol for responding to abuse.
Following "appropriate diplomatic channels," the Vatican's nuncio to Australia on Dec. 6 turned over requested documents to a state sex abuse commission.
Copies of correspondence show the papal nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, claimed diplomatic immunity in response to repeated requests for archival documentation.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge's statement to a Royal Commission about the mishandling of child sexual abuse could be the strongest a serving Australian bishop has made.
The Royal Commission has been granted permission to look into any private, public or nongovernmental organization that is involved or has been involved with children.
I've been in Australia for the past week and a half, speaking to people across the spectrum in Melbourne and Sydney and gathering some impressions about the church here.
Some similarities are striking, both culturally and ecclesiastically, as are some differences. In the latter category, I had an instructive moment when I noticed a tease Monday on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald. It read: "Institutions told to stand up in culture war."
After eight weeks of graphic and sometimes sad testimony, public hearings have ended for the New South Wales special commission of inquiry into clerical abuse north of Sydney.
Analysis: If the probe into the Australian church turns up something nasty, the church has only its leadership to blame.