Church leaders from across the world come to Rome to relaunch their commitment to the safeguarding of the vulnerable with a new global initiative: “Towards Healing and Renewal”
Bishops and Religious Superiors from across the world will come to Rome in February for the launch of the Catholic Church’s global initiative on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
Towards Healing and Renewal is being offered by the Gregorian University in Rome and consists of a major symposium followed by the launch of a multi-institution e-learning centre which will run for the next three years – the Center for the Protection of Children based in Munich, Germany.
Delegates for the symposium will come from 110 Bishops’ Conferences and also be Superior Generals of more than 30 Religious Orders, making this a truly international gathering focusing on safeguarding by the Catholic Church.
This initiative has the support of several Vatican Congregations as well as the Secretary of State and the symposium, which will run from February 6-9, will have speakers from all continents in recognition of the global nature of safeguarding the vulnerable. The speakers include the testimony of a victim of abuse, who will address the delegates about the need for victims to be heard and how to effect positive change.
Following the 2011 circular letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to Bishops’ Conferences requiring all Dioceses in the world to develop guidelines within the next year on the handling of all abuse allegations, the symposium will play a significant role in enabling Bishops and major religious superiors to move towards creating a consistent global response. Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, will give the opening address at the Symposium conference, and representatives from the CDF have had a very active role in giving shape to Towards Healing and Renewal.
The e-learning centre based in Munich (Germany), more formally known as the Centre for the Child Protection of Children of the Institute for Psychology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, which will be run by Hubert Liebhardt, Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University as well as serving at the University of Ulm, has full funding secured for three years. It will enable the dissemination of good practices to assist in the setting up of local structures to introduce robust procedures to deal quickly and effectively with all allegations of abuse and will go live at the conclusion of the symposium.
Towards Healing and Renewal will also act as a catalyst in developing a culture of listening and healing within the Church.
Symposium Press Office