Tag Archives: NZ Catholic Bishops Conference

Bishop Charles Drennan resigns as the Bishop of Palmerston North

4 October 2019

Bishop Charles Drennan resigns as the Bishop of Palmerston North

Cardinal John Dew, the Metropolitan Archbishop of New Zealand, today announced that Bishop Charles Drennan has resigned as the Bishop of Palmerston North. Bishop Drennan tendered his resignation to Pope Francis following an investigation into a complaint of unacceptable behaviour of a sexual nature. The complaint was made by a young woman. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation.

Upon receiving the complaint, the New Zealand Church’s independent investigation body, the National Office of Professional Standards (NOPS), contracted an independent, licenced investigator to undertake an investigation under the oversight of Cardinal Dew. Bishop Drennan stood aside from his duties. Both Bishop Drennan and the young woman participated in the independent investigation.

The young woman has been informed of his resignation and the Church is in ongoing contact with her. The Church is committed to giving continuing support to the young woman, her family and those around her.

“The young woman has requested that details of the complaint remain private,” said Cardinal Dew. “It can be confirmed that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Bishop Drennan’s behaviour was completely unacceptable, and it fully supports the young woman for coming forward to NOPS,” said Cardinal Dew.

The clergy, staff and church leadership of the Diocese of Palmerston North have been told of the acceptance of Bishop Drennan’s resignation and provided with guidance and resources to help them to support parishioners and other members of the Catholic community. The wider Church of New Zealand will also be advised and supported.

“The Catholic Church has no tolerance for any inappropriate behaviour by any of its members. I encourage anyone who experiences such behaviour to bring it to the attention of the Church, police or any organisation with which they feel comfortable,” said Cardinal Dew.

ENDS

Media Contact:
Cardinal John Dew
c/o David McLoughlin, Communications Advisor
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference
Email: communications@nzcbc.org.nz
Phone: 021 611 052

His Eminence Cardinal John Atcherley Dew DD is a Roman Catholic bishop. He was appointed Archbishop of Wellington in 2005 and elevated to Cardinal in 2015. He is also the Vice-President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

The Metropolitan Archbishop of New Zealand is the senior bishop of a group of dioceses in a country or a province. He has limited functions and powers in relation to the other dioceses and does not have authority to intervene on his own initiative in the governance of a diocese in his province. In May 2019 Pope Francis gave Metropolitan Archbishops
the power to oversee investigations into abuse complaints against bishops of the dioceses in the Archbishop’s province.

The Catholic Diocese of Palmerston North is the region of New Zealand assigned to the Bishop of Palmerston North. The region extends through the northern reaches of Taranaki in the east to Hawke’s Bay in the west, following the coastlines and internal areas through Whanganui-Waimarino and Tararua into Manawatū and some of the Wairarapa.

The National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) sets the strategic direction and ensures compliance of the Catholic Church’s safeguarding policy and procedures for children and vulnerable adults. They are also responsible for overseeing the investigation of complaints of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct against clergy and members of
religious orders.

If you or someone you know has a complaint:
The Church has a specialist team to receive complaints about inappropriate behaviour in any Church context, to support complainants find the right path towards healing, and to investigate complaints using an established process when any civil process is completed or not undertaken. The National Office for Professional Standards can be contacted on 0800
114 622 or online at: safeguarding.catholic.org.nz.

ABORTION LAW REFORM in NEW ZEALAND: ‘Have Your Say by 19 September’

A Message from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops to Parishioners

The full document can be viewed here.

Every pregnancy involves at least two lives – the child and the mother. Every abortion takes away an innocent life.

Protecting and caring for life from conception to natural death stands at the core of our Catholic faith. From the moment an embryo comes into existence, a genetically and spiritually unique human life has begun. It is already the human being it will always be. It will only grow in size and complexity and is therefore entitled to be treated with the same respect as other human beings.

Our parliament is currently debating a significant revision of our abortion laws. This is a matter of serious concern. There are three ways we need to respond:

Political: We are called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. We have an obligation to advocate for the right to life of the unborn child and the well-being of mothers. We encourage every one of you to exercise your democratic right to make a submission to parliament and to contact your local MP.

Prayerful: Every human life is a gift from God. Just as parents spontaneously pray for their unborn child, so we are called to pray for all the unborn, as well as for their parents and extended families. We also pray for wisdom for our MPs.

Pastoral: Our belief in the sanctity of life is demonstrated in the way we show love for both unborn children and their mothers. The message others hear from us will be shaped not just by our words, but also by the way in which we speak and act. We need to ask: ‘After this debate is over, will our faith communities be seen as places of love, compassion and care that women facing the challenges of a pregnancy will want to turn to?’

We urge you to inform yourselves about this issue and take a stand for life. Submissions close Thursday 19 September.

The full document can be viewed here.