Of special importance is the capacity to relate to others. This is truly fundamental for a person who is called to be responsible for a community and to be a “man of communion.
— Pastores dabo vobis par. 43

Corpus Christi College has developed a programme with a specific focus of ensuring that all students, over their time in the Seminary, reflect upon and understand the behavioural standards they set for themselves can and will have an effect on many people. This is particularly true of the children and vulnerable adults, among whom the seminarians will exercise their ministry.

During this time they will have an opportunity to gain a good understanding of the need to protect our children and vulnerable adults. The process seeks a commitment from the students to gain a positive and holistic context for these standards, establishing not only a list of behaviours to avoid but also behaviours to encourage which support good physical and spiritual health.

Students are:

(1) Given copies of the Professional Standards Documentation

(2) Worksheets to study this Documentation

(3) Experienced presenters are engaged to provide workshops to lead discussion and case studies.

The key documents that form the basis around which students engage with issues of Professional Standards are:

·         Integrity in Ministry (2004 rev 2015)

·         Integrity in the Service of the Church (2011)

·         Towards Healing (2010 rev. 2016)

·         The Melbourne Response (1996)

·         May our Children Flourish: Code of Conduct for Caring for Children

·         Policies of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

·         State Legislation regarding Privacy, Discrimination, Harassment and Reporting and Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. Also the Victorian State Government’s legislative initiative Child Safe Standards (2016)

The programme is based on an approach that enables:

(1) Integration, Identification and a clear understanding of the Professional Standards Documentation and Legal responsibilities

(2) Workshopping of documents through Case Studies and group sharing and discussion.

Within the context of our formation programme, specific documents are to be integrated into the pastoral work the students are undertaking in any particular semester.

Students also make reference to Professional Standards documentation in other parts of the Seminary curriculum, such as the annual Celibacy Seminar and Pastoral Studies Units at Catholic Theological College, or programmes that individual dioceses may ask their students to undertake.

Through our commitment to Professional Standards in our Friday Formation Sessions, we wish to ensure that they become an integrated, fixed and regular part of the Seminary Programme, promoting formation in our students with a clear culture that upholds the highest standards and safeguards children and vulnerable adults.