The Catholic Church in Australia has established a new, nationally-consistent approach for handling concerns and allegations of sexual abuse and other misconduct, creating the best outcomes for people bringing forward concerns and those responsible for responding to them. The Protocol was drafted with input from many stakeholders, including survivors and their supporters.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference adopted the National Response Protocol in November 2020, with the protocol implemented from February 1, 2021.
The implementation of the National Response Protocol from February 1 will mean that Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response will be phased out. Church entities that have matters already being managed under Towards Healing or The Melbourne Response can continue to use those processes until the matter is resolved. Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response continue to be valid until the end of 2021 while Church authorities implement the National Response Protocol locally. The National Response Protocol will be monitored regularly to allow for ongoing refinement and improvement.