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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / Ambientes Seguros  / Members of the Sodalitium participate in the Latin American congress on the prevention of abuse

Members of the Sodalitium participate in the Latin American congress on the prevention of abuse

From March 14th to 16th, the II Latin American Congress “Assist, inform, communicate: Keys to effective management in cases of sexual abuse”, was held in the city of Asunción (Paraguay) organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), the Center for the Protection of Minors (Ceprome) and the Episcopal Conference of the host country.

From left to right Daniel Calderón, Jorge Luna, Card. O'Malley, Rosario Pantoja, Clara Maria Matuque, Dante Carrasco, Maria del Carmen Campos.

From left to right Daniel Calderón, Jorge Luna, Card. O’Malley, Rosario Pantoja, Clara Maria Matuque, Dante Carrasco, Maria del Carmen Campos.

“I feel called to take charge of all the evil, that some priests, quite a few, of the damage they have done. Because of the sexual abuse of children, and in the face of this evil that outrages the Church, she kneels before God and implores forgiveness for the sins of his children. The Church is aware of this damage and we are not going to take a step back. You are called Apostles of Prevention. Prevention is an act of love. Keep going!” were the words of Pope Francis addressed to all the participants in a video message shared at the conclusion of the Congress.

Among the more than 400 people from 23 countries participated our brothers Daniel Calderón, in charge of Safe Environments of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae; Jorge Luna, Regional Superior of the SCV in Peru and Dante Carrasco, Coordinator of Reconciliatio (Brazil).

Rosario Pantoja, permanent adviser on Safe Environments and Abuse Prevention for the Apostolic Works of Sodalicio in Peru, also attended. María del Carmen Campos, Humane Consulting Group Consultant (Ecuador) and Clara Maria Matuque da Silva from Reconciliatio (Brazil)

“Great impulse to form a culture of care”.

Daniel shared with us that he had a “very renewing experience for continuing to learn and delve into this much-needed subject, not only for the Church today but for today’s culture”. He also recounted that in those days “they lived an experience of fraternity with so many people from different countries and charisms who see in prevention a particular call from God to contribute to this painful problem”.

“All of this has been very encouraging and has meant a great boost to continue with the efforts to create a culture of care and prevention”, he added.

For Jorge “it has been a very important event, since the people in charge of preventing the abuse of minors throughout the Church were present, also for knowing all those who are getting involved, for the efforts that are being made and for creating the awareness of this problem and see how it is being faced in the Church”. He also said that “it was very enriching to listen to the speakers and share with the different people who participated: bishops, priests, religious and lay people”.

Dante, from Brazil, told us that he is very grateful to God because “he has brought together a large group of people who have already been working on this issue in the Church and at the same time with this awareness of wanting to train ourselves more and more in prevention and the creation of safe environments”.

“We see that we must gain awareness that this is very important in the evangelizing mission of the Church today and therefore in the mission of our spiritual family”, he said.

Finally, he told us that for Reconciliatio it has been a moment of confirmation of the activities that they have been carrying out. “We are happy to see how we can continue to serve people who are concerned about this issue”, he said.

O’Malley: “The prevention of abuse is housed in the broader culture of care and good treatment”.

The organizers proposed developing each day of the event based on 3 keys as tools for effective management in cases of sexual abuse: Attend, inform and communicate.

On the first day of the Congress, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, reflected on the institutional response of the Church to victims of abuse.

He explained that “prevention in the Church in Latin America is more than the implementation of a code of conduct, a prevention protocol or a course of action that focuses attention on sexual conduct. The prevention of abuse is housed in the broadest culture of care and good treatment, which must question our way of relating, of forming community and of truly living synodality”.

For his part, F. Daniel Portillo Trevizo, director of the Latin American Council of Ceprome, urged the participants “not to tire of fighting to create healthy and safe environments for our Church”.

F. Daniel Portillo Trevizo, director of the Latin American Council of Ceprome.

F. Daniel Portillo Trevizo, director of the Latin American Council of Ceprome.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who on behalf of the Holy See has directed various investigations into cases of sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic Church, spoke about pastoral care for victims of sexual abuse in the Church.

For the second day, the Jesuit priest Hans Zolner, one of the leading experts in child protection and prevention of sexual abuse; In his conference “The Catholic Church and the sexual abuse of minors: becoming aware of the past with perspectives for a better future”, he explained that to better understand the problem, “the voice of those who have been injured in their dignity and who do not experience the attention and mercy that they rightly expect from the Church”.

For the second day, the Jesuit priest Hans Zolner, one of the leading experts in child protection and prevention of sexual abuse; In his conference “The Catholic Church and the sexual abuse of minors: becoming aware of the past with perspectives for a better future”, he explained that to better understand the problem, “the voice of those who have been injured in their dignity and who do not experience the attention and mercy that they rightly expect from the Church”.

“Victims of abuse want to see an attitude of empathy, closeness, being open with their hearts and not just with their eyes and ears, that is the Church that we should be”, he emphasized.

On the third day, the speakers were: Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu Farnós, Officer of the Disciplinary Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Dr. Yago de la Cierva, Professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and expert consultant communicator in crisis management.

Msgr. Jordi developed the itinerary in which the “complaint” is communicated to the diocesan listening commission and then on the communication between the listening commission and the bishop.

Yago de la Cierva, had two conferences. In the first, he spoke about professional communication in cases of abuse, and in the second, about strategic communication in the intervention of cases of abuse.

In addition to the conferences, each participant had the opportunity to choose specialized workshops among the eight that were offered, some of them were: “Implementing reception and listening spaces: receiving people who denounce”, by Bachelor. Angélica Pilar Ramírez Rodríguez and “Responding to the complaint: importance of psychological evaluation” with Dr. Patricia Espinosa.

Finally, it was announced that the next Congress will be held in Panama, in 2024.

We share Ceprome’s video summary of what the Abuse Prevention Congress was like.