Pope Francis sends a message to a conference on the promotion of child safeguarding during the COVID-19 pandemic, and urges all participants to continue their work in the fight against this scourge.
Pope Francis sent a message on Thursday 4 November to the ongoing conference entitled “Project SAFE: Welcoming and educating in safe environments, promoting the safeguarding of children during Covid and beyond.”
The event is organised by the Pope John XXIII Community with Azione Cattolica Italiana and the Centro Sportivo Italiano, in collaboration with the Centre for Victimology and Security at the University of Bologna. The President of the Pope John XXIII Community Association, Giovanni Paolo Ramonda, read the Pope’s message on his behalf.
Journey of conversion
In his message, Pope Francis noted that the members gathered for the conference are reflecting together and reaping the fruits of two years of listening, research and training. This work, he said, is an expression of the active participation of the people of God in the journey of personal and community conversion.
“This process of conversion urgently requires a renewed formation of all those who have educational responsibilities and work in environments with minors, in the Church, in society, in the family,” said the Pope. It is only in this way that we can eradicate the culture of death that every form of sexual, conscientious or power abuse brings with it, he added.
The Pope went on to say that “if abuse is an act of betrayal of trust, which condemns those who suffer it to death and generates deep cracks in the context in which it takes place, prevention must be a permanent process of promotion of an ever-renewed and certain reliability towards life and the future, on which minors must be able to count.”
The responsibility of adults
This is what we, as adults, are called upon to guarantee them, continued the Pope.
He expressed his confidence and hope, in particular at the many young people who have been formed in the various groups’ project.
The Pope added that his desire is that the adults involved “be promoters and custodians of a renewed educational alliance between the generations and between the different contexts in which minors grow up, capable of stimulating between them a generative and protective connection, especially in this complex time of pandemic.”
Bringing his message to a close, Pope Francis urged all the members of the lay associations taking part in the conference to “persevere in this action of training in co-responsibility, dialogue and transparency.”
Finally, he said, “may the protection of minors increasingly become an ordinary priority in the Church’s educational activity; may it be the promotion of an open, reliable and authoritative service, in firm contrast to every form of domination, disfigurement of intimacy and complicit silence.”
To read the Pope’s full message, click here.
With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.