Safeguarding children

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: An interesting issue from this topic is that in Australia, as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, an acolyte or lector when accepting a role of acolyte or lector while visiting another diocese other than their home diocese is required to present their credentials to the visited diocese and seek permission to undertake the liturgical role. As part of presenting their credentials they are required to include their State Government Working With Children (WWC) reference.  

Under the Royal Commission reforms implemented by the ACBC, all liturgical ministers now require a currently validated Working With Children reference to remain active  in their chosen ministry. Obtaining the WWC is a simple State Government administrative procedure applying for a police and criminal check and being accredited to work with children. 

Is this requirement unique to Australia or are other national bishops conferences doing something similar? 

Thanks for your great insights.


A: Thanks for this important contribution. I do not know of other conferences doing something similar. In general, I applaud the efforts that churches make to safeguard children.