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CEI: Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults works on drafting new guidelines

“The problem of the protection of children and adolescents from sexual abusers is of great importance to the families and to the entire civil society. As such, it cannot but be the focus of the Church’s attention, for she has always had at heart the education of younger generations”. This is according to the final statement released at the end of the Extraordinary General Assembly (12-15 November) of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI). The General Assembly addressed the “serious plague of abuse”, tacking stock of the Guidelines that the CEI Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults is preparing to facilitate prevention and training. In this regard, “the bishops are deeply aware that the priority can neither be a defensive concern nor an attempt to conceal the moral, ecclesial scandal, but rather the wounded children and their families. These should find ever more listening and accompaniment in the Church and in all her pastoral workers”. The decisions being made by the Italian Church on this matter are oriented towards “promoting awareness and training among the People of God so that they see the value of their bodies and sexuality in a mature way. Consequently, it is crucial to pay the utmost attention to the selection of lay collaborators; to monitoring; to caution when working with children; to serious behaviour in all environments; to transparency in relations; and to the educational space given to women and couples of parents with a view to promoting shared responsibility. As for the clergy, clear criteria were reaffirmed for the initial selection of candidates for ordained ministry or religious life, together with a formation aimed at fostering mature relationships and sexual management; it is clear how essential it is to educate in a critical and controlled use of the Internet, and – more in general – to inspire engagement in continuous development”.

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