New Zealand to be represented at Vatican safeguarding conference

safeguarding conference

A representative from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops will attend the summit on safeguarding in the Vatican later this month.

Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington and vice-president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC), will attend the meeting which will take place 21 – 24 February 2019.

Because of recent eye surgery, Bishop Patrick Dunn is unable to attend. The Cardinal will take his place.

According to a statement by a papal spokesperson, the purpose of the February summit is to ensure all bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors.

The Vatican has also acknowledged that Bishops’ conferences in many countries “have undertaken important initiatives and tried to understand what really happened, how to help the victims and how to establish a culture of prevention”.

Pope Francis has said, “a global problem can only be resolved with a global response”. He has encouraged Bishops in their own dioceses to meet with and listen to survivors of abuse.

The summit will also include working groups, “moments of common prayer with listening to testimonies,” a penitential liturgy and concluding Mass.

In their Press release, the New Zealand Bishops’ Conference encouraged anyone who has been abused by a priest or religious to contact the National Office for Professional Standards for their story to be heard and their complaint to be investigated.

Alternatively, people may choose to go directly to the Police, and the Church will support anyone who requires assistance to do this.

If you would like to make a complaint or would like more information about the Church’s safeguarding or complaint processes, please contact 0800 114 622 or email


  • Supplied: Amanda Gregan Communications Advisor – NZ Catholic Bishops Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
  • Image: Paul Harding CNS
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