On Thursday 6 September, 2018, the organisers of the Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry Conference released their six-page Conference Communiqué.
Leading the communiqué to the Church and the Australian Community were the words: “For the Christian churches, we are at a Tipping Point. Recovery will depend on engaging in a thoroughgoing reformation of theology, structures, governance, leadership and culture."
The communiqué, including 14 conference resolutions, is addressed to survivors of child sexual abuse in church institutions, to members of the Australian Christian churches, and to Australian church leaders, including the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia, and the leadership of the National Council of Churches of Australia (NCC). Above all, this communiqué is an appeal to the whole Australian community, including all members of faith communities, because participants believe that health and integrity in ministry and the rebuilding and renewal of our churches should be of the utmost concern to all Australians, whatever their beliefs.
Download the complete Conference Communiqué (335kb pdf) by clicking on the image (right).
In a media release, distributed on Friday 31 August, 2018, the Health and Integrity conference called for a ‘reformation’ of Australia’s churches following Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In a week when the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults in church institutions has once again been making international headlines, a conference of Christian churches in Melbourne has called on Australia’s churches to embrace thoroughgoing reformation of their structures, governance and culture in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The three-day ecumenical Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry conference on the task of rebuilding and renewal for the churches after the Royal Commission (27–29 August 2018), was hosted by the University of Divinity and sponsored by four leading Catholic religious institutes and Yarra Theological Union. The conference was attended by church members and leaders, academics, clergy and religious, ministers and church workers, survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates, and groups advocating church reform.
Download the complete media release (275kb pdf) by clicking on the image (right).
Reflections on the Health and Integrity Conference, from Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Divinity.
“From 27 to 29 August 2018 the University of Divinity hosted the Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry Conference. Attended by 250 delegates, the conference brought together church leaders, experts in theology, governance, psychology, counselling and leadership, and survivors of child sexual abuse and their families and advocates.
This was the first major opportunity for churches and religious orders to consider comprehensively the report and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
I was privileged to be present throughout the conference, and to be given the opportunity to reflect to the delegates on the final day my learning as to what comes next.”
Read the complete text of Peter’s Health and Integrity Conference reflections here.