‘Church needs to better understand children’

Fr James McEvoy (CPSL)

An expert in the theology of childhood says the Church must better understand children in order to develop appropriate strategies for their care. Source: CPSL.

Fr James McEvoy, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University and a priest of the Adelaide Archdiocese, was part of the Adelaide Catholic Professional Standards Ltd consultation meeting on the new draft Safeguarding Standards last week.

Fr McEvoy, said children’s lives are immensely precious to families, school communities, the Church and most importantly to God.

“Together we need to reflect the great gift of children and childhood,” he said.

“We need to ask ourselves how Church communities and Catholic schools can best honour children’s innate sense of trust, wonder and play. We must be aware of how the grace of God is uniquely present to us through our children’s lives.”

The consultation meeting, held in the Adelaide Town Hall, was attended by safeguarding officers from Adelaide Archdiocese, Edmund Rice Education Australia, Dominican Education Australia, Centacare, Australian Catholic University and other Catholic organisations.

Kate Eversteyn, CPSL's safeguarding director, said the discussion around the theology of childhood is very important in the development of the new CPSL Safeguarding Standards.

“We look forward to talking more with Rev. McEvoy on the theology of childhood and children and the types of conversations we should be having with clergy/religious, church personnel, parents, carers and communities,” Ms Eversteyn said.

“If we are really going to tackle cultural change we need to reflect on and discuss the meaning of childhood in the light of Christian faith.”


Children need to be better understood if Church is to develop best practice safeguarding standards (CPSL)


Abuse survivors doubt independence of company running safeguarding standards forum (ABC News

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