Safeguarding and the Catholic Church in England and Wales
The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the heart of the Church’s mission. There is no place in the Church for abuse, a grievous crime which can affect people for their entire lives. Victims come first. The Catholic Church both acknowledges and deeply regrets that this has not always been the case. It accepts that grave mistakes were made in the past.Today, the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable is a Church priority from the top down, and there will be no place to hide for offenders.
Pope Francis, December 2013, declared there should be ‘zero tolerance’ of abuse, and established a Vatican Commission on the protection of minors. In 2019 Pope Francis at the summit on child protection and clerical abuse and has called on Catholics around the world to work together to erase what he calls“this abominable crime from the face of the earth”.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales currently has established systems and training for both priests and lay people to try and ensure that children and vulnerable adults are now safe within our communities and that the sort of abuses which have happened in the past cannot happen again.
All allegations of abuse reported to the Church in England and Wales are immediately passed on to the police. The Church works closely and cooperatively with the statutory authorities during the course of the investigation and any legal action which might proceed. Upon its conclusion the Church conducts its own internal investigation, in accordance with Canon (church) law.
This means that, in practice here at St Luke’s for example, in order to minimise risks, all our paid and volunteer staff who work with our vulnerable parishioner groups are subject to the highest level enhanced DBS check, all our groups ( e.g. catechism, Confirmation etc) and events away from the parish ( eg: Pastoral Outreach outings which include our vulnerable adults, children and young people) are risk assessed – this will include ensuring the legally required ratios of “adult : child” support staff is available at all times.
WHO TO CONTACT IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN:
ST LUKE”S PARISH SAFEGUARDING REPRESENTATIVE IN CONFIDENCE :
Mrs EITHNE ATTERBURY – firstname.lastname@example.org
These details are also displayed at the back of the Church
If you or someone you know is in immediate risk of harm contact the police on 999 .
If you do not wish to contact the Church directly the local authority duty numbers are:
HARROW BOROUGH CHILDREN’S SERVICES : 020 8901 2690
HARROW ADULT SERVICES: 020 8901 2680.