The Fourth Tranche of the Reviews of Safeguarding practice across the Catholic Church was released today by the seven Church authorities involved. They were the Dioceses of Achonry, Kerry, Ossory and Down & Connnor, the Archdioceses of Armagh and Cashel & Emly as well as the Christian Brothers and the St Patrick’s Missionary Society. This brings the total of Church authorities reviewed to date by this process to 27.
“In the majority of cases the progress that has been made has been heartening,” said Teresa Devlin, acting CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI). “However, this was not universally the case and we have undertaken to work closely with those that have not met the required standards to ensure that children are properly safeguarded.”
She went on to outline how the completion of 27 audit reports meant that a significant portion of the work to be done had now been completed.
“Our next tranche will see that last of the Dioceses being reviewed”, said Devlin. “And, we will also be dealing with the larger religious Congregations and Missionary Orders during 2014. Thereafter, many of those organisations still to be audited will be small in terms of membership and may have limited involvement with children – so we are expecting such audits to be quite rapid.”
The audit of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society did demonstrate an anomaly regarding Safeguarding Standards for religious organisations whose headquarters may be in one jurisdiction but whose activity may be carried out in a number.
“Our remit is to ensure that Safeguarding practice on the island of Ireland meets the standards the church here has signed up to and those match international best practice,” said Devlin. “We have no remit beyond these shores. At the same time, the standards for a missionary society’s operations in other countries may well be set here. This is an issue we will be discussing with our Sponsoring Bodies.”