ACSL is responsible for managing safeguarding complaints against leaders of Church organisations and conducting reviews of complaints investigations. We are also responsible for managing the National Response Protocol.

Types of complaints ACSL can help manage

There are three specific types of complaints that ACSL has been set up to facilitate:

Complaints under Vos Estis Lux Mundi

If requested, ACSL can assist to facilitate complaints under the Vatican procedural Vos Estis Lux Mundi. Information on what complaints are captured under Vos Estis Lux Mundi can be found here.

Information on how to seek ACSL’s assistance for complaints under Vos Estis Lux Mundi can be found here.

Complaints against a Church Authority in respect to the safeguarding of children or adults at risk, where not provided for by Vos Estis Lux Mundi

ACSL can provide an independent process for responding to complaints in respect to the safeguarding of children or adults at risk against Church Authorities, where not provided for by Vos Estis Lux Mundi.

A Church Authority is a Bishop, Australian Major Superior or the Canonical Steward*.

Information on how to make a complaint about a Church Authority can be found here.

*The Canonical Steward means the person/s or other entity canonically responsible for the Catholic entity. Canonical Stewards often apply in the case of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons.

Reviewing the outcome of a complaint managed by a Church Authority

ACSL can provide an independent review mechanism for complainants, respondents and Church Authorities for complaints managed under Towards Healing or the National Response Protocol.

A review of the investigative process, investigative findings, how the matter was managed or the outcome of a complaint can be requested by a party to the complaint (complainant, respondent and Church Authority). Information on how to request a review can be found here.

While ACSL can help manage these types of complaints, all Catholic organisations are required to have processes in place that allow you to raise a complaint, be listened to, and be responded to promptly.

In raising a complaint against an individual, most pathways for reporting include contacting the state or territory reporting authority where the incident took place, and contacting the Church Authority and Catholic entity entity as part of your first steps.

If you are not sure where to raise your concerns, ACSL can provide advice. Send an email to and a member of the Complaints team will be in touch.

National Response Protocol

The National Response Protocol (NRP) is the framework for Catholic entities across Australia to respond consistently to concerns or allegations of child abuse.

Read more about the NRP.

See other Church Protocols.