Judge Garrett Sheehan, chair of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, and chief executive Teresa Devlin, advised the bishops during their Autumn General Meeting in Maynooth, on activities engaging the current work of the Board, specifically its engagement with Church personnel in drafting a revised child safeguarding policy which will reflect more strongly the requirements of governance and leadership, thereby bringing the Church’s policy up-to-date with changes in civil and canon law.
The safeguarding presentation also referred to transitional justice approaches to the needs of survivors of abuse which are being developed in various settings around the world. The four key elements of this approach include: truth; justice; reparation and a commitment to non-recurrence.
A further aspect of survivor engagement relates to approaches to atonement, such as events that are already happening in Ireland, but also new possibilities of engaging with survivors that enable listening and acknowledging the pain caused by abuse within the Church.
Finally, Ms Devlin reported on her work as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, regarding the drafting of universal guidelines for child safeguarding.