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Abuse: Fr. Brehl (Redemptorists), “we need a Code for Best Practice”. “No return to ministry for someone judged guilty”

“We need to have a plan of action and a program of conscientization which goes further than at present. Some Provinces are doing very well with this, but others are not.  This plan must place the victims and survivors at the centre, just as Jesus did. This will help to ensure the ‘conversion’ that is so necessary to address this challenging issue in the Church today”. Father Michael Brehl, Superior General of the Redemptorists, said this during the second day of the 92nd Meeting of the Union of Superiors General (USG) that is underway in Ariccia. “We need the Code for Best Practice – he stressed – even more than the Protocol for dealing with accusations. This must be more fully developed and implemented in all our Provinces”. Also, “listening structures are needed” to “receive complaints and allegations from Victims/Survivors and their families, and to listen to their stories with compassion and competence”. According to Fr. Brehl, there is a need to make a distinction “between clerics and non-clerics who are religious”, to place “victims at the centre, not the perpetrators or the institution”, and to ensure there is “no return to ministry for someone judged guilty of abuse of a minor”. Above all, “transparency is fundamental”. Finally, the Superior insisted on the importance of “formation programs for our members and for all co-workers about best practice and about reporting” and the need for greater “collaboration with the UISG” (International Union of Superiors General).

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