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New national Catholic safeguarding agency established in Australia New national Catholic safeguarding agency established in Australia  (©doidam10 - stock.adobe.com)

Australia: New national Catholic safeguarding agency launched

The Church in Australia establishes a new agency to oversee all safeguarding, child protection and professional standards in Australia.

By Vatican News staff writer

The new agency, which was launched on Thursday, will be known as Catholic Safeguarding Limited.

According to a statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, its primary aim will be to “reduce duplication and consolidate work previously undertaken by Catholic Professional Standards Limited, the Implementation Advisory Group and the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards.”

Accountability

Speaking about the new body, Bishops Conference president, Archbishop Mark Coleridge said, “The work of safeguarding and professional standards is constantly evolving, including through important and necessary state regulation and oversight. We in the Church knew we had to evolve as well, which has brought us to this point and to this new agency.”

He added, “Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited will build on the strong work of the previous bodies, including in demanding accountability of Catholic entities and in requiring independent audits and reviews of adherence to the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.”

Archbishop Coleridge pointed out that “insights and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have also shaped the new approach.”

Collaboration

The President of Catholic Religious Australia, Brother Peter Carroll said they had discerned what was “working well and what needed to change, and we are convinced this new national agency will make the Church’s work more coordinated, accountable and best prepared to ensure the safety of people in Catholic settings.”

Both Catholic Religious Australia and the Bishops’ Conference are collaborating with the Association of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons (AMPJP), a legal entity under Canon Law that allows various Church ministries to function in the name of the Catholic Church.

Commenting on the collaboration, Br Peter said, “AMPJP’s membership of Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited extends the impact of the company across an even broader range of Catholic ministries. “Our focus must always be on the safety of all those who come into contact with the Church.”

03 December 2020, 15:24