Pope Francis has made it clear he expects the Church, on every level, to implement whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy.
The aim of the New Zealand Diocese’s is to provide a consistent vision to create and foster a secure physical, emotional and spiritual culture in our faith communities, enabling everyone to enjoy the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
Creating safe environments involves active participation and responsibility taken by all parishes. It requires collaboration, vigilance and a proactive approach through policies, procedures and practices.
The “National Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand”
( National Safeguarding Guidelines) prescribes the commitment of the Church to have safeguarding measures in place in our organisations. These guidelines have been approved by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Congregational Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Diocese of Auckland, with all the Dioceses in New Zealand works with the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) to implement the guidelines.
NOPS is an agency of the Mixed Commission, a partnership between the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) and Congregation Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand (CLCANZ). It sets out the strategic direction of the Catholic Church’s safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults at risk. It is also responsible for monitoring and auditing the compliance of Dioceses and Religious Orders and have designed Safeguarding Culture Standards to ensure best practice to create and maintain safe environments for our children, youth and vulnerable
The National Safeguarding Guidelines and Safeguarding Culture Standards can be viewed and downloaded below:
NOPS also responds to all complaints about abuse in the Church and manages complaints procedures.
A National Safeguarding Framework – Working Together for a Safe Church has been developed and released by NOPS and the Auckland Diocese, along with the Dioceses of NZ will be implementing these national policies and procedures.
The National Framework comprises of the following polices:
- Safeguarding Policy (Policy)
- Concerns & Complaints Policy (Policy)
- Safe Recruitment & Training Policy (Policy)
The Safeguarding Policy is the overarching policy which explains our national principles of safeguarding, our commitment to keeping our children, youth and vulnerable adults safe, and provides definitions of various forms of harm.
Key areas of safeguarding are responding appropriately to concerns of complaints of harm, ensuring we have safe recruitment practices in place, and that our people are supported to work safely with children, youth and vulnerable adults. On that basis, the Concerns & Complaints Policy and the Safe Recruitment & Training Policy have been developed.
The Safeguarding Framework also includes a Code of Conduct for Employees & Volunteers. This document replaces the current “Standards for Volunteers & Employees in Ministry” and will be signed by all employees and volunteers when they start their role. The Code of Conduct can be viewed and downloaded below:
- Code of Conduct for Employees & Volunteers ( Code of Conduct)
Our Diocese’s aim is to have all Priests and volunteers working with children, youth and vulnerable adults police vetted. Volunteers in the following positions will be required to be police vetted and reference checked before being able to undertake this role:
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
Ministers of Communion to the Sick
Catechists – Sacramental Programme Coordinator/Leader
Alter Server Trainers
Youth Ministry Leaders
Choir Leader – where children are included in the general choir and for children’s choir
We will be assisting Parishes with the implementation of the National Safeguarding Framework and will keep you updated on upcoming information and training sessions. For further information or assistance about our safeguarding within the Diocese, please contact:
Safeguarding Officer, Leanne Killgour – HR Manager for the Diocese
Phone: 09 360 3009 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“…we acknowledge with deep sadness and regret that a number of clergy and religious have sexually abused children, adolescents and adults who have been in their pastoral care. To these victims we offer our sincere apology.”
New Zealand Catholic Bishops, A Path to Healing – Te Houhanga Rongo.
A protocol for dealing with complaints of abuse was established by the bishops in 1993 called A Path to Healing, Te Houhanga Rongo. (This document is currently being revised)
The bishops and congregational leaders established the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) to oversee the response to complaints of abuse.
Abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional. The Church takes all complaints of abuse seriously. Where the complaint of abuse appears to be of a criminal nature we encourage complainants to take the matter to the police, and will support them in doing so. If the alleged abuse is reported to the police, we will not protect the accused/offender from the processes of civil law nor hide the facts from those entitled to know.
To report a complaint of abuse by a member of the clergy or of a religious order, please contact:
National Office of Professional Standards
Virginia Noonan – National Director
Jacinta Stopforth – Officer
PH: 0800 114 622
Sister Jane O’Carroll – Pastoral Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 09 360 3003
Your call or email will be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality