Diocesan Safeguarding Day
“When you add up all the categories of victims, you can see that the number was immense. We still only know the identity of some. It is not something that belongs to the past but a hurt that survivors and those close to them carry in their hearts every day of their lives.
Let us pray for those who still suffer the effects of abuse. Let us pray for the lonely, the abandoned, those without hope. Let us pray for those who are without a home. Let us pray for those who are hurt because the Church does not adequately recognise their dignity. Let us pray for all families.”
– Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Sunday 19th August 2018
This Sunday 23rd September 2018, Diocesan Safeguarding Day will be marked in each of the 199 parishes of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The Archdiocese of Dublin values and encourages the participation of children and young people in parish liturgies and diocesan activities. Safeguarding is about creating an environment that facilitates such involvement so that children can grow strong in their faith as they experience the love of Jesus in his Church. Everyone who ministers in the parish is a representative of the Church and must observe safeguarding practices and guidelines. Good safeguarding practice is integral to ministry – it is not an optional extra.
Local safeguarding representatives will address parishes throughout the Archdiocese this weekend. They are women and men who work with the Parish Pastoral Council to ensure that diocesan safeguarding policies and practices are followed in parishes. Safeguarding is all the things we do to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected from harm. Parish safeguarding representatives are trained for this role and access advice and support from the Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service.
We know from sad and bitter experience that the Church in Dublin has not always been a safe place for children. Archbishop Martin is deeply grateful to all the priests, parish sisters, deacons, parish pastoral workers, staff and volunteers who have worked with great dedication in order to change this and to make our parishes and diocesan agencies safer places for children and vulnerable adults.
2018 saw the introduction of the updated Diocesan Safeguarding Statement. This document clearly outlines the policies and procedures that all parishes must have in place to safeguard children.
In order to keep all children and vulnerable adults safe, the following measures are in place in all parishes in this Diocese:
• Adopting a child-centred approach, valuing children and demonstrating our respect for them.
• Obtaining the consent of parents for the involvement of their children in parish activities.
• Choosing carefully those who work with children and vulnerable adults in our parishes.
• Ensuring parish workers and volunteers behave appropriately towards children and vulnerable adults.
• Making proper arrangements for activities involving children, including ensuring adequate adult supervision of such activities.
• Keeping good records of parish activities involving children.
The Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Office works with civil authorities including the Gardaí, Tusla and the HSE.
Anyone who has a concern for the safety or welfare of a child or vulnerable adult should contact the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service. People can also take such concerns directly to the following civil authorities:
• Gardaí, in an emergency
• Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, if the concern relates to a child
• HSE, if the concern relates to a vulnerable adult
Penitential Act of Pope Francis – Phoenix Park, Dublin, Sunday 26th August 2018
“Yesterday I met with eight persons who are survivors of the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse. In reflecting on what they told me, I wish to implore the Lord’s mercy for these crimes and to ask forgiveness for them.
We ask forgiveness for the cases of abuse in Ireland, the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse on the part of representatives of the Church. In a special way, we ask forgiveness for all those abuses that took place in different kinds of institutions directed by men and women religious and other members of the Church. We also ask forgiveness for cases in which many minors were exploited for their labour.
We ask forgiveness for all those times when, as a Church, we did not offer to the survivors of any type of abuse compassion and the pursuit of justice and truth by concrete actions. We ask forgiveness.
We ask forgiveness for some members of the hierarchy who took no responsibility for these painful situations and kept silent. We ask forgiveness.
We ask forgiveness those children who were taken away from their mothers and for all those times when so many single mothers who tried to find their children that had been taken away, or those children who tried to find their mothers, were told that this was a mortal sin. It is not a mortal sin; it is the fourth commandment! We ask forgiveness.
May the Lord preserve and increase this sense of shame and repentance, and grant us the strength to ensure that it never happens again and that justice is done. Amen.”
Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, Archdiocese of Dublin
Telephone: 01 836 0314