Safeguarding Children in the Church Universal is a recent episode in the (free) Spirit Fire Global Broadcast Series on Abuse and Faith.
This broadcast episode profiles the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the work of its President, Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, whose mission is to promote the dignity of every child and vulnerable adult in the care of the Catholic Church around the world. What most of our readers will find notable is how crucial a role survivors play in Fr. Zollner’s work.
As media coverage continues and (hopefully) helps reveal the stories long buried around the world, it is also important to understand the challenges which bona fide safeguarding advocates around the world encounter. There are vastly different cultural, political, legal, social, familial, religious and historical ways children are viewed. There are conflicts, wars, refugee camps, famine, drought, political oppression, persecution, and genocide.
Yet child safeguarding efforts do continue, with a high level of cultural dialogue and sensitivity that involves partners from regions all over the world.
As more news doubtless surfaces about failures–we hope but cannot promise past failures–in the Church to protect children and vulnerable adults, it’s important to remember other initiatives are attempting to advance the well-being and safety where others have failed.