The LCA has welcomed the Royal Commission investigating sexual abuse in institutions and has pledged full cooperation with authorities.
In a statement issued on 7 January, LCA President Rev Dr Mike Semmler said, ‘[The LCA] welcomes and fully supports all initiatives that will protect children, bring healing to those abused, achieve reconciliation where that is possible, and bring to justice those who have perpetrated evil acts against vulnerable individuals’.
On Monday, 12 November 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that she will be ‘recommending to the Governor-General that a Royal Commission be appointed to inquire into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child abuse in Australia’.
President Semmler said the Royal Commission is an opportunity for the LCA to ‘reaffirm that sexual or any other form of abuse against children is totally unacceptable.
‘In observing Christ’s command to love one another, we are to treat each other with respect and dignity. The safety, protection and wellbeing of children and young people are key priorities across the LCA and in all its educational institutions.’
The president’s statement outlines the measures the LCA and its schools have in place to protect children and young people in the church’s care and to promote their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing.
It is LCA policy that everyone involved in ministry to children and young people must complete the ChildSafe training requirements (refer www.lca.org.au for more information about ChildSafe and Safe Place).
President Semmler said, ‘We are called to share the love of Jesus by providing a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment for children. It is in this spirit that those who hold positions in the church exercise with great care the trust placed in them.
‘It is our hope and prayer that the Royal Commission will thoroughly consider the issues related to child abuse and identify measures to better prevent and respond to child abuse in all those institutions that work with children.’
Once the terms of reference for the Royal Commission are released, a meeting of senior LCA leaders will be convened to determine how best our church can participate and offer its full cooperation throughout the process.
Full statement: www.lca.org.au/lca-welcomes-royal-commission.html