Sr. Catherine Jones, SMSM, is the Safeguarding Advisor of the Archdiocese of Wellington.
She describes safeguarding as a spirituality. Jesus always extends to those who are weak, sick, children and outcasts with love and concern for their well-being. We, too, are called to do the same - to respect and uphold the dignity of each one of us as a child of God.
Police Vetting Coordinator: Tony Clifford
What does it mean for me as a member of this parish community?
The Catholic Church believes that every person has a value and dignity which derives directly from their creation in the image and likeness of God.
This implies a duty to value all people and therefore to protect them from harm. The gospel values of love, dignity and justice as demonstrated by Jesus remind us that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is an integral part of the life and ministry of the church.
Safeguarding is promoting an environment within all of our faith communities which respects and acknowledges the dignity of everyone, and where people feel valued and safe.
In our community, we are to ensure relational safety. Power imbalances occur all the time in our relationships. We need to be aware of these imbalances so that we can observe the boundaries that each person deserves. How to do this needs to always be conscious of the inherent dignity of the other person - he/she is bearing the image of God. We need to make sure that our parish buildings are structured to be able to observe relational safety. We need to have a protocol in place to remind us of this duty of love, care, and concern.