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 this Diocese 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.

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.

Creating safe environments involves active participation and responsibility taken by all parishes. It requires collaboration, vigilance and a proactive approach through polices, 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 already has a number of safeguarding measures in place, for example the Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry. We will be working to strengthen these measures through the adoption of new polices and procedures. These will be developed by the Diocesan Office for implementation in all Parishes.

We will keep the Diocese up to date as we introduce these new safeguarding measures.

“National Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand”

For further information about our safeguarding within the diocese, please contact:

Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Virginia Noonan

Phone: 03 366 9869 or email: safeguarding@chch.catholic.org.nz