Catholic Church Responds to Royal Commission: National Standards and Addressing Celibacy, Conviction and Confession

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) handed down its findings, the Catholic Church has delivered its formal reply. Of particular interest is the response of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) to the Royal Commission recommendations addressing celibacy, convictions for child sexual abuse and the sacrament of confession.

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Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part Two)

While compliance with statutory and Canon Law is not necessarily mutually exclusive, the manner in which religious schools and institutions respond to the Royal Commission will be key to determining their ability to comply with various types of obligations.

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Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part One)

Upcoming and proposed changes to child protection laws could bring the mandatory reporting expectations of the clergy in line with those of teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority. However, the legal requirements associated with child abuse disclosures made during religious confession still vary between jurisdictions.

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Catholic Professional Standards Ltd Release Draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards

The Catholic Church’s safeguarding body Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) last week released draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (Standards). Public consultation on the Standards closes at the end of May. The Standards are similar to the Royal Commission Child Safe Standards and, if approved in their current format, provide a framework for compulsory compliance for all Catholic organisations and entities regarding the creation of a child safe organisation.

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Catholic Church publicly endorses new law to extend child protection liability

As previously reported by School Governance, Victoria introduced a Bill (the Wrongs Amendment (Organisational Child Abuse) Bill 2016 (Vic)) before Parliament at the end of 2016 proposing to extend a child-related organisation’s duty of care to enable such organisations to be held liable for child abuse committed by an individual associated with the organisation. Refer to our earlier article for more information about the proposed new laws.

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