Confronting Abuse

In May 2000 the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference adopted 'Integrity in Ministry' as its official statement of Professional Standards for Clergy and Institutes of Consecrated Life in the six dioceses of New Zealand.

Because the Catholic Church in New Zealand has many lay employees and volunteers, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference adopted 'Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry' in August 2008. This was revised and updated in 2011.

Links to these two documents are contained below:

'Integrity in Ministry':Professional Standards for Clergy and Institutes of Consecrated Life
Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry

Abuse

 

...we acknowledge with deep sadness and regret that a number of clergy and religious have sexually abused children, adolescents and adults who have been in their pastoral care. To these victims we offer our sincere apology

New Zealand Catholic Bishops, A Path to Healing - Te Houhanga Rongo.

Abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional. The Church takes reports of all forms of abuse seriously. Criminal sexual or physical abuse is a matter for the police to investigate, if that is the wish of the victim/survivor. If the abuse is reported to the police, the Church will not protect the accused/offender from the processes of civil law nor hide the facts from those who are entitled to know them.

A provisional protocol for dealing with complaints of abuse was adopted by the bishops in 1993. In 1998 the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Congregational Leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand published A Path to Healing, Te Houhanga Rongo.  A Path to Healing has been revised, most recently in 2010, to ensure it reflects best practice.  The Church is indebted to those who have come forward, and encourages others who have experienced abuse to do the same.

All New Zealand Bishops and Congregations have accepted this protocol. It is a 'living' document, to be developed and improved as experience and practice dictate.

Reporting Abuse

If you, or someone you know has been abused by a Catholic priest or member of a religious congregation, we urge you to seek counselling and healing. You do not have to report the abuse to the Church, but if you do the Church will take your story seriously - even if you prefer to remain anonymous, and even if the abuse happened many years ago.

Contact people if you wish to report abuse:

Please contact Bill Kilgallon or Nicola Timms
National Office for Professional Standards
09 415 5470
prof.standards@nzcbc.org.nz

 

National Office for Professional Standards

The bishops and congregational leaders established the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) to oversee the response to complaints of abuse. Bill Kilgallon is the Driector of the National Office for Professional Standards. Since 2009, the role of the National Office for Professional Standards has included oversight of all complaints from the time the complaint is made. If a review of process is later requested this will be carried out by an independent person, not the National Office for Professional Standards.

Contact NOPS:

National Office for Professional Standards
The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand
PO Box 301398
Albany
Auckland 0752

09 415 5470
prof.standards@nzcbc.org.nz

Paper copies - 'A Path to Healing - Te Houhanga Rongo' 

Copies of the complete document 'A Path to Healing - Te Houhanga Rongo' can be obtained from NOPS using the contact details above.


Copyright

'A Path To Healing - Te Houhanga Rongo' is subject to copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for research, study, or training purposes - subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source and no commercial usage or sale. Reproduction for purposes other than those covered above, requires the written permission of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Congregational Leaders Conference of Aotearoa - New Zealand.
Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to to the NZCBC Exectutive Officer, James van Schie:

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference
Executive Officer
PO Box 1937
Wellington
New Zealand

secretariat@nzcbc.org.nz