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 Church is to provide a consistent vision that creates and fosters a secure physical, emotional and spiritual culture in our faith communities, enabling everyone to enjoy the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
The “National Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand” 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.
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.
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.
Our Diocese has already started implementing Safeguarding practices with many parishes completing police vetting for all volunteers working with children, youth or vulnerable adults. We have also updated the Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry. We will be working to strengthen these measures through the adoption of new national policies and procedures, which will be implemented in all Parishes.
We will keep the Diocese up to date as we introduce these new safeguarding measures.
NOPS Guidelines : to view click here
* Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry : to view click here
* Police Vetting Form : to view click here
For further information about our safeguarding within the Diocese, please contact:
Safeguarding Officer, Leanne Killgour – HR Manager for the Diocese
Phone: 09 360 3009 or email: email@example.com
A National safeguarding policy is being developed, which will prioritizes the implementation of procedures in the following areas:
- Safe selection and recruitment of volunteers
- Managing concerns/complaints and disclosures of harm
- Safe practices and activities in our parishes
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 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.
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
Sister Jane O’Carroll – Pastoral Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 09 360 3003
You can be assured of confidentiality whatever way you make contact.