We are almost at the end of National Child Protection Week. At the end of this week, Sunday 9 September, the Church across Australia marks Child Safeguarding Sunday.
Uniquely this year Child Protection Sunday is the first one since the formal response of the Catholic Church in Australia to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the release of the advice provided to Church Leaders by the Truth Justice and Healing Council.
Child Protection Sunday reminds us that individual church entities, including Dominican Education Australia (DEA) and our associated Education Ministries, are active participants in the protection/ safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults.
Child Protection Sunday speaks to all those in the Church of the important task of ensuring that children in our churches and schools can grow, speak and play safely. The day carries great weight because it is well known that in the Catholic Church too many people entrusted with the care of children exploited and abused them. Child Protection Sunday is a time for ensuring that proper protocols and safeguards are observed. More deeply it is a time for reflecting on how we can make the Church a welcoming space in which children can flourish.