19 Nov Reflection Day on the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults
Rome, 18 November 2021.
Br Francisco Gómez Vargas, from the Secretariat for Evangelisation and Mission, celebrated Mass. He invited participants to be outraged about corruption and those whose economic projects destroy the ecosystem without any care for Creation.
This was followed by a meeting between the Minister General and the General Definitory with the Visitators on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults. The speakers for the day were the Vicar General, Br Isauro Ulises Covili Linfati, Br Albert Schmucki, Definitor General, and Br Aidan McGrath, Provincial of Ireland.
The Vicar General highlighted the Order’s concern about the abuse of children and vulnerable people.
To address the phenomenon of abuse, the previous General Definitory had created a Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors in 2019. The Commission’s work was then presented to the 2021 General Chapter with the specific intention of coming forward with “concrete proposals and legislative articles to clarify the obligation of all the brothers and entities of the Order to cooperate fully in prevention, reporting and collaboration with all competent civil and ecclesiastical authorities in working to ensure justice and transparency in dealing with allegations of abuse throughout the Order”. (Final Document of the General Chapter, nr. 19).
Br Aidan reminded the Visitators of the particular importance of this issue in the life of the Order and Entity he is visiting. His role is to ensure that those in charge of the Entity understand the significance of safeguarding and take concrete steps to address it.
Last October, the General Office for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults was set up at the General Curia, with Br Albert Schmucki as Director, and Br Isauro Ulises Covili Linfati, Vicar General, as his assistant.
In the afternoon, work continued in the language groups.