The Chair of the Catholic Church’s new safeguarding body, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, plans to maintain the momentum created by the Royal Commission over the coming years.
The Hon Geoff Giudice made the statement when addressing a meeting of Australian Bishops in Sydney on 10 May.
He told the forum that the danger has not been eradicated, no matter how much better informed the community and the Church is as a result of the Royal Commission.
“Evil will always exist,” Mr Giuduce said, speaking at the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Plenary Council last week.
“A sustained effort is needed to create and maintain a culture of safety and care. That realisation is central to CPSL’s operations.”
There are two key factors that flow from this realisation, he said.
“The first is that safeguarding of vulnerable people should be at the forefront of conversations within the Church at all levels – and the second, because of the ever-present possibility of abuse and misconduct of other kinds, CPSL will be persistent and uncompromising in implementing the national standards.”
Mr Giudice said the safeguarding body will make audit reports publicly available and that stronger action could be taken against a Catholic entity which does not comply.
“Audit reports, positive and negative, will be of great practical and symbolic significance. When the child safeguarding standards have been approved later this year, CPSL will carry out its responsibility to implement them with perseverance, compassion and transparency,” he said.
CPSL was established by the Catholic Church leadership to: develop standards in relation to children and other vulnerable people who come into contact with the Church, to provide education and training in relation to the standards, and to enter into contractual arrangements with Church authorities to ensure ongoing compliance with the standards by all Catholic entities.
Sheree Limbrick, CPSL Chief Executive, gave the Bishops a comprehensive presentation detailing the work which has already been done and the standards consultation process that is now underway.
“We have now gone out to all Church organisations asking them to comment on the Safeguarding Standards we have drafted and the way in which they can be implemented,” she said.
“The draft standards are now on our website and we welcome feedback.
“We will soon also be starting an Australia-wide consultation process where we will visit every state to engage with survivors, family, advocates, religious leaders, educators, social services, disability and children services, government authorities and many others.”
Click Here To comment on the CPSL draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.