Listen to an interview with the CEO and Chairman of the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) in which they discuss the new guidelines issued by their organisation.

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Miriam Gormally met Ian Elliott, chief executive office of NBSCCC and Aidan Canavan Chairman of NBSCCC to find out why these church guidelines for safeguarding children would be effective when previous guidelines had failed.

Miriam began by asking Ian what was different about the new guidelines.


Further information

Click on link to visit website of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church

Founding Principles

All children have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected. This right is embedded in Gospel values, best practice guidelines and international and domestic laws.

In light of the teaching of the Church, civil legislation and guidance, every part of the Church must be committed to taking the necessary steps to:

  • demonstrate the right of the child to protection from harm is paramount
  • cherish and safeguard children and young people
  • foster best practice
  • demonstrate accountability through establishing effective structures
  • support Church organisations and personnel in safeguarding children
  • establish safe recruitment and vetting practices – aimed at preventing those who pose a risk to children from holding positions of trust
  • maintain codes of behaviour – having clear guidelines that set out what is and is not acceptable behaviour as an essential part of keeping children safe
  • offer safe activities for children – helping ensure they can learn, play and pray in a safe environment.

Pope Benedict XVI in his Ad Limina address to the Irish Bishops on 28 October 2006, spoke of the deep wounds’ caused by the abuse of children within the Church, Pope Benedict stressed the need to

“establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps were necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice were fully respected and to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes.”

The Pope went on to say, the Church in Ireland will grow stronger and be ever more capable of giving witness to the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ.’

The National Board for Safeguarding Children seeks to work collaboratively with Church Leaders, clergy, Lay representatives, congregations and children and young people to recognize and deal with the historical abuse of children, and to proactively try to ensure the safety and well-being of children in all current church activities.