Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors

The second meeting of the OFM Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults was held at the General Curia in Rome from 23 to 25 February 2022. The meeting was attended by Definitor General and President of the Commission, Br Albert Schmucki, the Vicar General, Br Isauro Ulises Covili Linfati and four members of the Commission, Br Aidan McGrath, Br Teofil Czarniak, Br Joe Cavoto and, via the internet, Br John-Paul Tan.

During three days of work, the Commission held meetings with various Secretariats and Offices of the Curia to initiate a path of collaboration in the area of safeguarding: the General Procuratorate, the Development Office, the OFM Fraternitas Foundation, the Secretariat for Formation and Studies and the Communication Office, the latter to study the possibility of having a specific section for safeguarding on the Order’s website.

On the afternoon of 24 February, a meeting was held with Father Hans Zollner SJ, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors and Director of the Institute of Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies for the Dignity of the Human Person at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In this conversation, the importance of the commitment to safeguarding in the contemporary Church’s mission emerged once again.

On the last day, the Commission prepared a questionnaire for the drafting of Guidelines to help the Provinces’ vigilance on this sensitive issue and ensure that the places entrusted to the Order become ever safer environments for all God’s people, especially the most vulnerable.

After their work, the Commission connected with Br Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General, who is visiting Mexico. Br Massimo described various contexts in which the Order is working to safeguard minors. He encouraged the Commission to proceed with confidence in the sensitive and indispensable task of safeguarding, protecting and humanising relationships.