Child Protection Sunday - 10 September 2017

Child Protection Sunday is observed across the Australian Catholic Church and runs in conjunction with National Child Protection Week. This year the focus is on the Royal Commission’s key element that when children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously, an institution is better prepared to be child safe. The theme is: “See Me, Hear Me”.

In the first reading for Child Protection Sunday, the Prophet Ezekiel speaks of “being a sentry to the House of Israel’. That image captures well one element of the role each of us has in regard to children.

As Pope Francis outlined before leading the crowds in the Angelus prayer in March last year, it is important to “Listen: this is the key word. Do not forget, listen to the sick and marginalised, or among families.” As a sentry, each of us plays a part in listening to what the children have to say, making sure that every child is safe and protected from abuse and harm.

We can see evidence of the strength of our community providing support, protection and opportunities to help keep our children safe by having robust systems in place when they are involved in the activities of the Diocese.

This has been bolstered by the introduction of the Diocese of Bathurst's new Safeguarding Policy, released on Thursday 7th September. 

The Diocese of Bathurst is committed to safeguarding children, young people, vulnerable adults, and indeed, all who participate in the life of the Church at whatever level.

This document is intended to provide a framework of best practice which makes this safeguarding possible.  It contains our policy statement and articulates the Gospel values, core principles, church documents and legislation on which it is based, and refers to guidelines for recruitment, training, education and clear procedures for when abuse or allegations of abuse occur.

The Diocese upholds the principle of shared responsibility and requires all of its personnel, including volunteers, to be trained in the contents and obligations of this document and to engage in behaviours that ensure the protection and wellbeing of all.

The Safeguarding Policy can be downloaded HERE>

In addtion to Child Protection Sunday, Bishop Michael has called on the people of our Diocese to observe Thursday 7th September as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for these intentions. This may be done individually, as well as coming together with your fellow parishioners in prayer gatherings that will be organised on this day.

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