Confronting Abuse

Abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional. The Church takes reports of all forms of abuse seriously.

Criminal sexual or physical abuse is a matter for the police to investigate. If the victim or survivor chooses to report the abuse to Police, the Church will cooperate with the civil law processes and will provide the known facts to the authorities. The Church encourages the victim or survivor to report criminal allegations to Police and will support them in doing so.

Reporting Abuse

“...we acknowledge with deep sadness and regret that a number of clergy and religious have sexually abused children, adolescents and adults who have been in their pastoral care. To these victims we offer our sincere apology.”

New Zealand Catholic Bishops, A Path to Healing - Te Houhanga Rongo.

A protocol for dealing with complaints of abuse was established by the bishops in 1993 called A Path to Healing, Te Houhanga Rongo. That link takes you to the latest edition, published in February 2020.

The Church is indebted to those who have come forward, and encourages others who have experienced abuse to do the same.


If you, or someone you know has been abused by a Catholic priest or member of a religious congregation, we urge you to seek counselling and healing. You do not have to report the abuse to the Church, but if you do the Church will take your story seriously – even if you prefer to remain anonymous, and even if the abuse happened many years ago. Your call will be taken with sensitivity and confidentiality. If you'd like to make a complaint please contact our National Office of Professional Standards: 0800 114 622 or