Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons

This Code of Ethical Behaviour (developed from Integrity in Service of the Church, National Committee of Professional Standards, 2010) clarifies and affirms the standards of behaviour that are required of lay employees, students on placement and volunteers within the Maronite Eparchy of Australia. Breach of this code may result in disciplinary action being taken, up to and including dismissal.

Clergy and religious are bound by the standards for ethical behaviour as articulated in ‘Integrity in Ministry.’ Relationships among people are the starting point of all Christian life, ministry and service and are central to Catholic life. It is with the objective that relationships in ministry be experienced as collaborative, communicative and coordinated without intention to harm or allow harm to occur.

This Code of Ethical Behaviour is prepared for and to be followed by employees, students on placement and volunteers.

Those who serve in the Maronite Eparchy of Australia – clergy, employees, students on placement and volunteers - shall:

  1. Commit to justice and equity by exhibiting the highest Christian ethical standards of language, behaviour and personal integrity in their professional conduct.
  2. Uphold the dignity of all people and their right to respect by conducting themselves in a moral manner consistent with the discipline, norms and teachings of the Catholic Church.
  3. Commit to safe and supportive relationships by not taking advantage of any pastoral or authoritative role for their own benefit; and by adhering to the requirements of the law of the State regarding reporting any suspected abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  4. Respond with integrity to those who are poor, alienated or marginalised by not acting in an abusive or neglectful manner; and by sharing concerns about suspicious or inappropriate behaviour with the appropriate person in their organisational structure.
  5. Strive for excellence in all their work by following the policies and procedures of the Diocese; accepting their professional responsibility in the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults from all forms of abuse; and by providing a professional work environment that is free from harassment.
  6. Maintain appropriate professional boundaries in all contact settings including virtual by:
    1. demonstrating language and behaviour consistent with role and responsibilities;
    2. avoiding inappropriate emotional attachment;
    3. not forming or engaging in relationships of a personal or sexual nature;
    4. maintaining distance between work and personal space;
    5. not accepting gifts or entering into financial relationships or transactions;
    6. not disclosing inappropriate personal information; and
    7. avoiding touch in a manner, which is not a legitimate occupational requirement.

Conduct not consistent with this Code of Ethical Behaviour in the workplace includes, but is not limited to: being engaged in activities or situations that can give the appearance of: bullying, sexual or other harassment, exploitation, sexual exploitation, conflict of interest, abuse as defined in the church’s Towards Healing document, possession or distribution of pornographic material, abuse of alcohol, drugs or gambling in a way that interferes with the person’s service of the Church, any form of criminal conduct including stealing or any other form of theft or any form of assault.

Breaches of this policy could lead to the discipline of those found to be in breach which may eventuate in the termination of employment or termination of voluntary position.