Our Commitment to Safe Communities
Discalced Carmelites are called to contemplative union with God, to live in safe, joyful communities of friends who are good friends of Christ and of one another and to share the Gospel with others as co-creators of the communion that is God’s plan for all people.
The Discalced Carmelites of the Regional Vicariate of Australia accept that any sexual abuse is a crime and a grave sin to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by clergy, religious and other Church personnel who have abused children, adolescents and vulnerable adults in their care.
We recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all the children, young people and vulnerable adults to whom we minister. We are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being. Each person should be cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity of life and bodily integrity, which shall be respected, nurtured and protected.
We undertake to do everything possible to create safe environments where the welfare of those to whom we minister is paramount. If any complaints are made to us we will work with appropriate civil authorities to ensure that they are acted on speedily in a just and compassionate manner. We are committed to ensuring that every person, especially every child, in our care is safe. We are committed to assist the healing of those who have been affected by abuse.
This Safeguarding Policy adheres to the principles and guidelines set out in the documents of the Catholic Church as well as the laws and guidelines of the Commonwealth of Australia and its States.
We are committed to:
- Best practice to ensure that children are treated with respect and have both their rights protected and their welfare promoted.
- Minimising risks in order to safeguard the interests of children and vulnerable adults.
- Ensuring that all OCD friars, staff and volunteers are carefully recruited, selected, trained, supported and held accountable.
- Providing appropriate support for survivors of child sexual abuse.
- Providing appropriate training for members.
- Working in partnership with statutory authorities for the prompt, just and professional management of complaints.
- Making this Safeguarding Policy widely known, accessible and understood, and implementing procedures and protocols that contribute to keeping children safe in all our OCD gatherings and activities.
- Providing the necessary personnel, resources and finance to ensure that we fulfil the commitments made above.
These guiding principles inform the overall Discalced Carmelite Friars’ policy. The policy has been devised to ensure that the Discalced Carmelite Friars take every possible measure to prevent abuse. It aims to ensure that none of its personnel or volunteers engages in behaviour that could allow abuse to occur or actions that could be misinterpreted by children, young people or vulnerable adults, their families or other adults as constituting or leading to abuse.
If you are concerned about a child/young person/vulnerable adult please report your concern to:
Pauline Nolan, Designated Liaison Officer
Tel: (02) 9937 2644; or
Fr Bernard Hancock, OCD, Regional Vicar
Tel: (02) 8795 3450