“Ensuring the Safety of Children”
A Message from the Provincial
To all Pallottine confreres, associates, members of the Union of Catholic Apostolate, collaborators and friends of the Mother of Divine Love Province.
Safeguarding Children, to whom Jesus Christ referred when he said “anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me”, is our primary responsibility and principal concern. The disclosures of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy and by religious have caused great hurt, sadness and disillusionment in the Church. As members of the Church we are called together with all who minister to children to provide assurance and to demonstrate that children are safe in the Church.
We are a missionary Society of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church and as such are members of the IMU (the Irish Missionary Union) and of CORI (the Conference of Religious in Ireland). With the bishops of Ireland, representing all the Dioceses, the IMU and CORI are signatories to the child protection document ‘Safeguarding Children’ which details the policies and procedures for the Catholic Church in Ireland in regard to the protection and well-being of children.
We, the members of the Mother of Divine Love Province of the Pallottines, a Society of Apostolic Life, are a community of priests and brothers who endeavour to revive the faith of the entire People of God and re-enkindle charity and to spread these virtues throughout the world. Our common vocation engages us in a particular commitment to awakening and deepening in all people an awareness of their vocation to cooperate in the apostolic work of Jesus Christ in the Church and in the world. Our SAC Law states in article 3 that in order to live our objectives “our Society will use whatever means are appropriate to promote, defend and nourish Christian life.”
In accordance with the stated aim this present document, “Safeguarding Children, Society of the Catholic Apostolate, Pallottine Fathers and Brothers, Irish Province” presents our Policy with regard to Safeguarding Children and provides clear guidelines and procedures to be implemented and followed in living out the ministry entrusted to our Province. Our Founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, advocated the sacred nature of each and every life quoting, on countless occasions, Genesis 1, 26, where it is affirmed that God made man and woman in his own image and likeness and from this act of creation the sacred nature of all life is affirmed. Therefore we are obliged to promote, defend and nourish life in all its stages and phases and to do so imbued with the spirit and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Apostle of the Eternal Father.
Each and every contravention against the integrity and well-being of children is an affront to their God-given dignity and is to be avoided. It is particularly damaging if such contraventions are caused or enacted by members of our Province who are men consecrated to God and to the following of Jesus Christ and his Gospel. It is similarly reprehensible if such contraventions are caused or enacted by persons who are in our employment, are our collaborators or voluntarily join in our apostolic endeavours.
While reaffirming the motto of our Society that it is “the love of Christ which impels us” to live and work as Pallottines, and embracing anew the fundamental rule of life which our founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, identified as ours, namely “The members wish to live this vocation fully: by their determination to follow Jesus Christ in the Society; by making his hidden and public life, even to death on the cross, the fundamental rule of their lives…” (Law of the SAC 12), this document on Safeguarding Children is an integral part of our lives and ministry as Pallottines.
I request that
- the members of the Province study and familiarize themselves with all aspects of the document and ensure that it is observed and enforced;
- that it is used to give informed awareness and concern for child protection issues wherever you work and minister;
- it be implemented fully and diligently by each and every one of you.
As Provincial Rector of the Irish Province and on behalf of the Provincial Council, I approve, adopt and sign this policy document of procedures and guidelines thereby establishing them as normative and effective from this 21st of May 2013.
Fr. Jeremiah Murphy, SAC.