On March 25, FADICA, the Gregorian University Foundation (GUF) and the Leadership Roundtable co-hosted a meeting with Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, to learn firsthand about the Vatican’s ongoing work to address sexual abuse within the Church. Fr. Zollner, a theologian and psychologist, is president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a key advisor to Pope Francis on sexual abuse. He was also part of the organizing team for the February 2019 Vatican meeting of bishops on the Protection of Minors in the Church. At the New York City gathering, Fr. Zollner shared some of the critical next steps in the wake of that global meeting.
The Centre works to build a culture of safety within the Church, and educates and trains church personnel from around the world in safeguarding best practices — through both in person and e-learning programs. Fr. Zollner described the importance of fully confronting the impact of abuse, a major goal of the February Vatican summit, and at the same time providing safeguarding training and adopting procedures protect minors.
The March gathering emerged from FADICA’s fall 2018 pilgrimage to Rome, during which FADICA members participated in a workshop at the Gregorian University on child protection organized by Fr. Zollner and his Centre and University colleague Sr. Karolin Kuhn.