The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse

Rev. Hans Zollner, S.J., is a professor of Psychology and the President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

As his active Twitter account chronicles, Fr. Zollner travels the world teaching local churches best practices in child protection and promoting ministry to survivors. Recently, his article, “The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse,” was translated and published in English in La Civilta Cattolica.

This article is a clear and powerful statement of the Vatican approach to child protection, practical, honest and deeply caring.  And, wise.

Fr. Zollner explores the many ways predatory priests have been able to abuse any vulnerable person – child or adult.  He also details the many contributing factors in how abuse has been able to flourish in the Church. In one place, this article is a clear assessment of the pitfalls that foster abuse — and the ways to promote change.

Reflecting upon the questions and work facing many involved, this article points, also, to the work already underway to change across the globe, in doing so influencing cultures worldwide.

It’s worth the read. Some excerpts include:

The battle against sexual abuse will last for a while, so we must not delude ourselves into thinking that the solution simply lies in introducing new rules and guidelines. What is needed is a radical conversion and a decisive attitude to render justice to the victims and to make sure it never happens again. The message of the God of Jesus Christ is the source and strength of our efforts and for our continual reflection on the core of the Gospel: because God loves the little ones and the vulnerable most of all….

Please read the full article here.

Please note that the Pontifical Gregorian University now offers a degree in Child Protection, about which you may read more here.

You may follow Fr. Zollner on Twitter at @hans_zollner.

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