CNA Staff, Dec 4, 2020 / 00:23 am America/Denver (CNA).
On Thursday, the Catholic bishops of Australia and two other Catholic entities launched Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited, a company charged with the safeguarding of children against sexual abuse by clergy.
The launch of the agency comes three years after the release of a 2017 Royal Commission report on child sex abuse in the country's institutions. The new agency was created by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the Association of Ministerial PJPs (Public Juridic Persons).
“We have discerned what was working well and what needed to change, and we are convinced this new national agency will make the Church’s work more coordinated, accountable and best prepared to ensure the safety of people in Catholic settings,” CRA president Br. Peter Carroll FMS said in a December 3 statement marking the launch.
The new agency, also known as ACSL, “will reduce duplication and consolidate work previously undertaken by Catholic Professional Standards Limited, the Implementation Advisory Group and the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards,” the statement noted.
According to a fact sheet on the ACSL, while it is “hoped” that all Australian Catholic entities will subscribe to the new group, it will not be mandatory. Those entities that subscribe to the ACSL will be expected to comply with its safeguarding standards, conduct reviews and audits of their abuse prevention systems at least every three years, and provide ACSL with a copy of their reviews, which will be published on the ACSL’s website.