Rome university, Vatican to promote best practices in fighting abuse

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Catholic News Service

13 June 2011

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A pontifical university and a number of Vatican dicasteries are offering a special symposium to help bishops around the world as they seek to comply with a recent Vatican mandate to set up guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sex abuse.

The symposium, which will be held in Rome in February, is meant for representatives of the world’s Catholic bishops’ conferences and major superiors of religious orders.

Titled “Toward Healing and Renewal,” the symposium aims to forge “a global response to the problem of sex abuse and safeguarding the vulnerable,” said a June 13 press statement.

The symposium is being organized by Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University with the support of various Vatican offices to help bishops and religious orders “adequately respond to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s request to prepare directives and effective pastoral plans dealing with sex abuse,” it said.

The meeting will also look at building a new “multilingual e-learning center” that would be an online resource for church leaders to access and distribute resources and best practices dealing with prevention and helping victims of sex abuse, it said.

The symposium will offer workshops and talks in four languages led by experts in psychology, pastoral care, law and theology, it said.

The experts will include members of Virtus, which was formed in the United States in the late 1990s by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group to develop effective child abuse prevention programs.

The announcement of the symposium comes just one month after the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation said that, within one year, every bishops’ conference in the world must have “clear and coordinated procedures” for protecting children, assisting victims of abuse, dealing with accused priests, training clergy and cooperating with civil authorities.

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1 Response to Rome university, Vatican to promote best practices in fighting abuse

  1. Sylvia says:

    Will there be workshops on laicization (defrocking) of convicted and/or known predatory clergy?

    We shall see….

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