Code of Behaviour


Protection of Children, Young People, Vulnerable Adults and other Pilgrims



It is the responsibility of each individual within the fellowship of the Church to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults




  • Treat all pilgrims with respect.

  • Always be an example of good conduct that you wish others to follow.

  • Ensure, whenever possible, that there is more than one helper present during activities with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Clearly, Sacramental or Medical protocols may be exceptions to this requirement. However all sensible precautions should be taken in all cases to ensure everyone's safety.

  • Respect all pilgrims' right to personal privacy.

  • Encourage pilgrims to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.

  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.

  • Be aware that even caring physical contact with a pilgrim may be misinterpreted.

  • Recognise that special caution is required in moments when you are discussing sensitive issues with other helpers or other pilgrims.

  • Operate within the Code of Good Conduct and procedures of the Lourdes Pilgrimage.




  • Render yourself unfit for “duty as a helper” through the consumption of alcohol or the lack of sleep.

  • Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with other pilgrims.

  • Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour.

  • Make suggestive / derogatory remarks or gestures in front of other pilgrims.

  • Jump to conclusions about others.

  • Exaggerate or trivialise abuse issues.

  • Show favouritism to any individual.

  • Rely on your good name or that of the Church to protect you.

  • Believe 'it could never happen to me'.

  • Take a chance when common sense, policy and practice suggest another more prudent approach.

  • Ignore the Protection Guidelines and Procedures operating within the organisation.




If a pilgrim discloses to you abuse by someone else:

  • Allow him or her to speak without interruption, accepting what is said, but do not investigate.

  • Reassure the child or vulnerable adult that they have done the right thing by telling you.

  • Advise the person that you must pass on the information.

  • Report the matter to the Leader in Charge of your group immediately; they will in turn inform the Pilgrimage Protection Officer(s).

DILHARA FERNANDO (Accueil Co-ordinator)

REV. KIERON O’BRIEN (Diocesan Child Protection Co-ordinator)


If you suspect a pilgrim is being abused, emotionally in any way or if you receive and allegation about any pilgrim or yourself:


  • Report the matter to the Leader in Charge of your group immediately; they will in turn inform the Pilgrimage Protection Officer(s).

  • Try to ensure that no one is placed in a position which could cause further compromise.


In all cases:

  • The listener must record the conversation as soon as possible. The record should reflect the conversation as accurately as possible, using the Pilgrim's own words. The record should be signed and dated, noting the time and location at which it took place. The names of anyone else present should be included.

  • Report facts to the Pilgrimage Protection Officer(s).

  • You must refer, you must not investigate. Do not contact the subject of the allegation.

  • Do not promise confidentiality, as any information received may have to be acted upon by other authorities.



Revised 2008