Coordination of efforts

Coordination of efforts

Catholic Church in Australia to merge all agencies responsible for protection against sexual abuse into a single institution. A creation of parallel institutions had "not been planned".

Tasks to keep vulnerable adults safe must be fully carried out while avoiding duplication of effort, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Bishops' Conference, said Monday via the bishops' conference website.

The merger also explicitly concerns the tasks and independence of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL), which was founded in 2016, according to the statement. The latter, he said, is tasked with protecting children and other vulnerable people from sexual abuse, monitoring the implementation of standards in dioceses and religious orders, and publishing regular audit reports.

Coleridge: No "downplaying" of the Church's determination to protect children

Coleridge explicitly rejected accusations by abuse victims that the church was abolishing the CPSL. It would be a "grave mistake" to see the decision to merge the previous organizations as "belittling" the church's resolve to protect children, the archbishop said.

The various national agencies in addition to the CPSL include the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards, the Implementation Advisory Group and Australian Catholic Redress Limited to advise and coordinate compensation payments by dioceses to victims of sexual abuse. The founding of these institutions stemmed from recommendations of the state abuse commission. The creation of parallel institutions was "not planned". The entities were created without thinking primarily about coordination, Archbishop Coleridge acknowledged.

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