The Money problem: reparation and restorative justice in the Catholic Church's Towards Healing program

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Abstract

Towards Healing is a restorative justice program for addressing complaints of sexual and other child abuse committed by clergy and other members of the Catholic Church. The program is upheld by the Church as leading the world in providing restorative and therapeutic justice. This article examines Towards Healing from the perspective of restorative justice standards and questions the potential for restorative justice to function in regard to Catholic clerical child sexual abuse in Australia, where civil justice is stymied in this context. A key argument of this article is that Towards Healing operates on a less-than-voluntary basis in this environment and fails to maintain the basic principles of restorative justice focused on the needs and experiences of victims. The article concludes that the Catholic Church's use of reparations to resolve liability in Towards Healing is incompatible with restorative justice ideals and best practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Criminal Justice
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Restorative justice
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Clerical child abuse
  • Reparations
  • Redress
  • Towards Healing
  • Ellis
  • Royal Commission

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