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Czech Republic: Czech bishops’ Conference, first contact centre for sexual abuse victims to open its doors in May

A new first contact centre for minors who have been sexually abused will open its doors on 1 May 2019. The Czech bishops approved its foundation during their March plenary session as a reaction to Pope Francis’ appeal to the clergy to address the problem of sexual abuse in the Church in a strict and concrete way. The prelates emphasize that every such case is not only “a criminal offence but also a grave sin with a human and spiritual impact on the lives of the victims, not to mention the fact that such behaviour by the clergy causes the Church to lose her credibility”. The representatives of the Bishops’ Conference and of the Conference of Men and Women Religious believe that the establishment of the contact centre will encourage the victims to access psychological and pastoral aid. The following step will be to revise and update the existing norms and regulations on the official procedure to follow in cases of child sexual abuse. Msgr. Zdenek Wasserbauer, auxiliary bishop of Prague, has been appointed head of the commission in charge of this.

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