Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) has welcomed the National Apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse delivered by the Prime Minister in Canberra today.

CPSL CEO Sheree Limbrick said the apology is an essential landmark in Australia’s shameful history of crimes committed against children in Australian institutions.

“But the apology is not the end of the matter, it doesn’t stop here,” Ms Limbrick said.

“The voices of survivors and the revelations of the Royal Commission call for ongoing vigilance.

“There is a lot of work to be done.

“For its part, CPSL will release the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards in early December following wide consultation and policy development.

“CPSL standards have been mapped against the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, the Royal Commission’s Child Safe Standards and the Royal Commission’s Recommendations.

“Auditing of Catholic Church authorities’ (bishops and religious leaders) compliance with the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, will commence early next year and CPSL anticipates publicly releasing its first audit reports in the first half of next year.

“All Church authorities will be audited within three years.

“The audit will include all ministries and activities which involve children – directly or indirectly – conducted within a religious order or a diocese.

“CPSL was established by the bishops and religious leaders in 2016.

“While the Catholic Church funds CPSL, the company is functionally independent of the Church in a similar way to a number of government-funded regulators and oversight bodies.

“This is essential work.

“During the Royal Commission, the Catholic Church made a number of commitments including to change a range of practices that affect the safety of children.

“CPSL’s standards and auditing process will go a long way to holding Church authorities to account,” Ms Limbrick said.

 

Media contact                   Judith Tokley      0408 824 306