Church puts safety at centre of mission with new draft code

Dr Ursula Stephens (ACSL)

Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have this week released the first draft of the Church’s new code of safety, titled Our Common Mission. Source: ACSL.

Our Common Mission sets out the commitment of the Catholic Church in Australia to put safety at the centre of mission. It is a document intended to be adopted by all Church entities to inform ongoing formation in ministry and service for both people in religious ministry and lay people.

ACSL CEO and Advisory Group Member Ursula Stephens said that in drafting Our Common Mission, the intention has been to create something that can speak directly and inclusively to diverse groups.

Our Common Mission is a short document and that’s something which is very intentional. It outlines foundational principles based on culture, relationships and formation that can guide each entity to develop their own organisational code of conducts that respond to their unique contexts, while still reflecting a cohesive national commitment to putting safety squarely at the centre of mission,” Dr Stephens said.

ACSL is now inviting all Church entities to consider how they would embed Our Common Mission in their organisation and provide ACSL with feedback on the draft. This will inform a final version for approval in November and dissemination across all entities.

To help prompt reflection on the document ACSL has developed a Conversation Guide which accompanies Our Common Mission, Dr Stephens said.

Our Common Mission has been developed in response to Recommendation 16.49 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which states that "codes of conduct in religious institutions should explicitly and equally apply to people in religious ministry and to lay people", a recommendation which was accepted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia.

Read Our Common Mission

Read the Our Common Mission Conversation Guide

Provide your responses through the Consultation Survey by 31 August 2022.


New draft code of safety for the Catholic Church (ACSL)

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