THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF THE WEAKEST AND DEFENCELESS
The commitment of UISG to the protection of minors and adults in vulnerable situations continues. Both in 2020 and in the current year, the UISG Office for Protection and Care has organized a series of webinars in collaboration with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, with the Centre for Child Protection (Gregorian University), with the Union of the Superiors General (USG), and with Telefono Azzurro. The webinars are specially reserved for the Superiors, the Superiors General, and their delegates.
Information and documents relating to these events can be found on the website of UISG: www.uisg.org
On 2 October 2020, the office of Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI) was officially launched. The director, Sr. Niluka Perera, offered some important webinars to explain the significance of the vision of CCCI and the implications of adopting the Continuum of Care.
As Pope Francis has reminded us, the question of the protection of minors and people in vulnerable situations is of close concern to consecrated life and the Church as a whole:
The protection of minors and vulnerable persons is an integral part of the Gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to proclaim throughout the world. Christ himself, in fact, has entrusted us with the care and protection of the weakest and defenceless: “whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me” (Mt 18:5). Therefore, we all have the duty to welcome openheartedly minors and vulnerable persons and to create a safe environment for them, with their interests as a priority. This requires a continuous and profound conversion, in which personal holiness and moral commitment come together to promote the credibility of the Gospel proclamation and to renew the educational mission of the Church.
(Apostolic Letter issued «motu proprio» by the Supreme Pontiff Francis: On the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons, 26 March 2019).
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its implications for the work of the Institutes of Women Religious
Today children constitute more than one third of the world’s population, and a very large number of them live in extreme poverty and places where nothing is being done about the obligation and opportunity to invest in their future. What we ask, collectively, is what can the Institutes of Women Religious do in concrete terms to develop guidelines for the protection of minors that take into account the fundamental principles promoted by the Convention on the rights of childhood.
Sr. Niluka Perera, SGS
Towards Transitioning from Residential Care for Children to Care Within Families
The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) officially launched Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI) on 2nd October 2020. The launch signaled its commitment to participate in and promote the momentum for reform of care for children. CCCI envisions a world where every child grows up in a safe loving family or family-like environment.
Sr. Tiziana Merletti, SFP
The Scourge of Abuse of Sisters.
The Commitment of the Institutes to Transparency, Just action, Compassion
We can be grateful to the Spirit because He has called us to take these serious steps in a favorable moment, in which the whole Church is invited to think more in a more synodal way, to walk together, to join resources, not to judge each other if something like this happens among us. Words that a Superior General said to me long ago often resound in my mind: “We tend to think that it will never happen to us, yet these cases are more frequent than we are willing to admit.” The accompaniment of a Sister who has fallen victim to abuse or of a Sister who has made herself the perpetrator cannot be improvised. Though both need to be listened to, supported, and involved in a healing process. The time, energy, and also the economic resources that the institute may find itself spending are blessed because they serve a greater good.
Dr. Myriam Wijlens
Passing the Relay from the Mother Communities to Young Mission Areas:
Challenges of Structural Change in Religious Institutes with Missionary Activity
A very large number of international Religious Institutes that have their headquarters in Europe and elsewhere in the Western world are facing an unprecedented upheaval: the ageing of the sisters, fathers, and brothers, is leading to immense changes not only in Europe, or the industrialized countries, but also in other parts of the world. These changes are situated, firstly, the area of internal government, which can no longer be exercised by members from Europe but will pass to members from the parts of the world usually referred to as the Global South.
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