Safeguarding Office inaugurated

Rome, 12 September: In the presence of the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, the Definitors and the friars of the Curia, the Office for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults was officially opened with a blessing. Bishop Isauro Covili, OFM, Bishop of Iquique in Chile, blessed the Office, located within the General Curia.

Before the blessing, Br Alberto Schmucki, General Definitor and Director of the Office explained to those present the work that the Commission has already been doing since its creation:

After a year of work, I can say that despite the enormous challenge of introducing policies in all entities of the Order and in the structures where the friars work, some progress has already been made.”

 The Office came into being in response to a specific mandate of the last General Chapter, which decided that each entity must draw up a written code of conduct to make all the structures in which the friars live and work safe spaces for all people.

Br Albert further shared: “There are already Provinces and Custodies that send drafts of their policies to ask the Commission for advice, and there are cases of complaints that request suggestions from the Commission. Our great hope is especially the friars who, in various places around the world, are being trained in the animation of child safeguarding”.

The General Definitory created the Commission for Safeguarding in September 2021. Its members are Br Albert Schmucki, Br Aidan McGrath, Br Theophil Czarniak, Br Joe Cavoto, Br John-Paul Tan Br Daniel Fleitas Zeni, Br Frederick Odhiambo and Br Byron Antonio Chamann, as Secretary.