THE DIOCESAN MISSION STATEMENT
To raise the level of awareness about safeguarding children issues;
To ensure to the best of our ability that all children in our care are safe and secure;
To build confidence in our initiative as laid down in our policy statement;
To implement proper codes of behaviour and procedures in every parish and in the diocese;
To ensure that opportunities for malicious allegations against adults are minimised.
We take our leadership in this initiative from Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Jesus, in leading his flock, displayed all the attributes which we should model in our Safeguarding Children programmes:
We are asking all to show humility by acknowledging that nobody on their own can implement or has the expertise to implement Safeguarding Children without help.
We lead by example by never asking anyone to do what we are not doing ourselves.
We accept that the role of a true leader is to encourage new leaders and to empower and trust them to lead.
We pray for the courage to act always on the paramountcy principle:
The welfare of the child is paramount
We must share a common vision as we pray:
“Be thou my vision.”
New Wine Skins for the New Wine
The Diocesan needs are identified as follows:
• To experience leadership from the clergy
• To distribute leadership among the laity
• To empower laity in genuine delegation of responsibility
• To utilise church members with special skills.
• To establish collaboration between parishioners and clergy based on spiritual values such as respect, trust and hope.
The Safeguarding Trainers’ Credo.
We believe in the sanctity of human life.
We are followers of Jesus Christ and practitioners of His teachings.
We acknowledge the richness, the depth and the meaning that this discipleship has brought to our own lives and the lives of countless others.
We value our Church greatly as the custodian of the message of the good news.
We value the clergy- the servants of God who live and proclaim the good news.
We treasure the wonderful pastoral care they provide at all points of our lives.
We wish to invest our time and energy as we walk alongside our clergy
and if needs be, in front of them.
We wish to see our Church continue to serve all of its members.
The Healing Process
As we continue on a journey involving increased lay empowerment in the life of the church, we begin as we do at Mass, by proclaiming in public our wrongdoing.
We ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we have done and also for those wrongs inflicted on innocents in our church.
We have seen a dreadful betrayal of trust.
Instead of being valued, protected and respected by those whom they trusted, children were used, abused, humiliated in unspeakable ways and scarred for life
We all have a responsibility to learn about the deep wrongs inflicted, to share the pain and to help in the healing.
The bishops of Ireland in their Lenten pastoral of 2005 called “Towards Healing” state:
• “In recent years the pain of people who suffered sexual abuse as children has at last begun to receive the public attention it deserves”.
• “Anything that could allow child abuse to happen and to be hidden has to be addressed and corrected”.
• “Our first concern must be the harm that has been done to those whose trust was betrayed when they were children.”
• “It is a duty on all of us to help people who have suffered abuse to see the face of Jesus in the life of the Christian community”