Church working to protect children but long way to go: Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge (ACBC)

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says the Church in Australia is acting to protect children from sexual abuse although he concedes it has a long way to go, News.com.au reports.

Archbishop Coleridge says a lot has been and is being done around Australia to safeguard children.

"But it's very much a work in progress; we still have a long way to go," he said yesterday. "Because it's not just a matter of changing procedures and protocols but of building a culture, and that takes time."

An RMIT University report on child sexual abuse in the Church worldwide found Australia is significantly behind other comparable countries in developing policies and protocols to safeguard children.

Archbishop Coleridge said the report does not appear to be up to speed with the state of play in Australia, where some of the Church's work is under the radar.

He said other Church actions are very much on the radar, such as its new professional standards body that will set nationally consistent standards and audit compliance with them.

"Australia has done some things well and some things badly, but that's true of any country," Archbishop Coleridge said.

"The same could be said of the Catholic Church. We're doing some things well and some things less than well. But that's true surely of any comparable institution."

Archbishop Coleridge said the Archdiocese of Brisbane has parish safeguarding officers and external auditing, adding Catholic schools in Australia "are probably the safest places in the nation for a child to be".

FULL STORY

Church has long way to go on child safety (News.com.au

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