Safe environments: Abuse prevention

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae has made the firm commitment to implement safe environments to protect people connected to our apostolic, educational and pastoral activities, especially minors and vulnerable adults.

In April of 2016 we asked Dr. Monica Applewhite, an American expert in detection, monitoring, and policy development to prevent sexual abuse to guide us in this initiative. Dr. Applewhite is also a Consultant to the Conference of Major Superiors of Men of the United States and has developed minor protection programs for several religious and non-religious organizations in the United States, Australia, Poland, Ireland, India, Italy, Central America, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands.

Dr. Applewhite provided courses in Lima (Peru) and Guayaquil (Ecuador) about abuse prevention in 2016, 2017 and 2018. These courses were distributed on-line to members of the Sodalitium living in different countries. In addition, she participated in the elaboration of conduct protocols, prevention, report and response to different types of abuse to be applied by the Sodalitium and its apostolic endeavors.

Using the principals established by Dr. Applewhite, we developed a training program to instruct about abuse prevention of minor and vulnerable adults. This training is provided to diverse audiences, such as Sodalit brothers and priests, those responsible for apostolic and educational organizations, those responsible for supervising safe environments. The specific goals of the training are:

  1. To understand abuse, its consequences on the victim, and the circumstances and behavior that lead to abuse.
  2. To know how to proceed according to the Catholic Church Canon Law, and the rules and policies of the Holy See (respective Dioceses and Bishops Conferences, etc.), as well as to each countries’ civil law in case an abuse is reported.
  3. To provide criteria to institutions and apostolic organizations related to the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae for the elaboration and implementation of safe environment policies. Such policies must include conduct and response protocols to possible cases of abuse.
  4. To keep people updated on the teachings and instructions provided by the Holy See regarding normative and procedures for abuse prevention of minors and vulnerable adults.

Through an agreement between the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and the National Catholic Services, we have access to Virtus On-Line to use its material and to capacitate abuse prevention trainers. VIRTUS is an organization that provides programs designed to help prevent abuse and promote correct behavior within religious organizations. VIRTUS programs help organizations and people to manage risk in a better manner and improve the lives of all those that interact with the Church.

Since 2016, the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, hand in hand with trained collaborators in abuse prevention, has trained over 2,000 people in all its different apostolic, educational and pastoral ministries. The Sodalitium has also trained its members, management, principals, teachers, staff members, parents, leaders of apostolic centers, pastoral groups, volunteers, catechists and pastoral agents. Through this effort, we seek to ensure that abuse inside our spiritual family, with its painful manifestations, never happens again.

We have created the Office for Assistance and Reparation in order to receive information and accusations regarding any type of abuse committed by members or former members of the Sodalitium. To report an abuse or to contact this Office please e-mail Dr. Silvia Matuk, Coordinator of the Office for Assistance and Reparation at