Perth Church plan for child safety officers

Archbishop Costelloe

Child safety officers would be appointed in parishes across Perth under a proposal to eradicate sex abuse in the Catholic Church, reports PerthNow.

Perth's Archbishop Timothy Costelloe recently outlined to senior church personnel a draft policy to appoint child safeguarding officers with specialist training. Common in the UK, the officers take a key role in responding to allegations of abuse and advise parishes on child protection policies.

A spokesman for Archbishop Costelloe said he was 'keen to act as swiftly as possible' to strengthen the protective measures already in place.

In his Easter Sunday homily, Archbishop Costelloe reflected on the 'terrible history of abuse perpetrated by some of our diocesan clergy'. The sermon comes days after Perth priest FR Patrick Holmes admitted sexually abusing two young girls more than 30 years ago. The guilty pleas sparked Archbishop Costelloe to issue a 'sincere apology' to the victims.

Archbishop Costelloe is overseeing a range of strategies as part of his aim to 'ensure the Catholic Church becomes the safest place for children.' These include asking more than 200 clergy, religious and lay staff attending a three-day seminar on the protection of minors and steps to prevent child abuse.

FULL COVERAGE

Child safety officers to be appointed across Perth under Catholic Church plan (PerthNow)

Churchgoers gather to hear message of hope (The West Australian)

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