A leading expert on the theology of childhood has told a meeting in Adelaide that in order to develop and advance appropriate cultures for the care of children, the Church must better understand children as competent and accomplished beings.
James McEvoy, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University and a priest of the Adelaide Archdiocese, was part of the Adelaide Catholic Professional Standards Ltd consultation meeting on the new CPSL draft Safeguarding Standards last week.
“Our children’s lives are immensely precious to families, school communities, our Church, and most importantly to God,” Fr McEvoy said.
“Together we need to reflect the great gift of children and childhood.
“We need to ask ourselves, how can these church communities and Catholic schools best honour children’s innate sense of trust, wonder and play?” he queried.
“We must be aware of how the grace of God is uniquely present to us through our children’s lives.”
Safeguarding officers of the Archdiocese of Adelaide were joined by representatives of Edmund Rice, Dominicans Education, Dominicans, Centacare, ACU, and other Catholic organisations at the consultation meeting held at Adelaide Town Hall.
CPSL Director of Safeguarding Kate Eversteyn, said the discussion around the Theology of Childhood is imperative in the development of the new CPSL Safeguarding Standards.
“We look forward to talking more with Fr McEvoy on the Theology of Childhood and children and the types of conversations we should be having with clergy, religious, church personnel, parents, carers and communities,” Ms Eversteyn said.
“If we are really going to tackle cultural change we need to reflect on and discuss the meaning of childhood in the light of Christian faith.”