The Marist Brothers will be back under the spotlight when the child sex abuse royal commission resumes public hearings in Sydney.
The Catholic order has apologised to its faithful, saying the failings of its leadership were to blame for the crimes of two pedophile brothers across three decades in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.
“On behalf of all Marist Brothers I acknowledge and apologise to their victims for the abuse and very real damage done to young people by their criminal actions,” the order’s provincial head in Australia Jeffrey Crowe said last month, in a letter he penned after listening to hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
This phase of the inquiry, resuming on Thursday, is focused on the responses of the Marist Brothers and its schools to allegations of child sexual abuse levelled at Brother John Chute and former Brother Gregory Sutton.
It is also looking into the handling of compensation claims.
The Marist Brothers have about 50 schools in Australia but they are now mostly staffed by lay teachers, with vocations within the brotherhood having fallen away in the past 20 years.
The commission is scheduled to hand its final report to government late next year.