European Conference on Safeguarding in the Catholic Church to be held in Rome

01/07/2024

European members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will hold the European Conference on Safeguarding in the Catholic Church from November 13-15 at Palazzo Maffei in Rome. The conference aims to strengthen the Safeguarding work and mechanisms within the Church in Europe.

The conference’s objectives are meant to ensure that Safeguarding is centered on educating on how to better protect and help children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church.

“This conference, which is being hosted by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, will provide us with time and space to meet colleagues and reflect upon our safeguarding practices.” Teresa Delvin, member of the Pontifical Commission and organizer of the Conference, explained.

Objectives of the Conference

The European Conference has developed four clear objectives to facilitate and establish Safeguarding work within the Church. These objectives include developing a Safeguarding network, sharing best practice initiatives, breaking down geographical barriers, and supporting victims and survivors.

Developing a Safeguarding network is meant to improve and enhance initiatives and provide support among the different European countries, specifically personnel dedicated to the work of Safeguarding in the Church. The development of this network will bring with it an advanced and quicker line of communication among Safeguarding officials, resulting in an exchange of resources.

Sharing best practice initiatives between European countries can facilitate in creating a uniformed approach in Safeguarding issues to protect children and vulnerable adults. This leads to the third purpose of the conference—breaking down geographical barriers, particularly within Europe, to improve collaboration and establish a process with high standards among countries and Safeguarding communities.

Lastly, the conference aims to provide better support by giving victims and survivors a voice and listening to them. By listening to and learning from them, personnel engaged in Safeguarding within the Church can establish policies that are better suited for protecting the vulnerable.

Potential Impact

Commission members hope the conference increases awareness on the importance of Safeguarding and how to respond appropriately in various situations. The increased awareness and knowledge from stakeholders regarding the issue of Safeguarding might lead to the development of more effective and complete policies. Finally, the conference aims to see a culture within the Church that has Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic values at its core. Such a culture ensures safety, respect, and dignity for all.

“Across Europe we are all at different stages on this important journey, I hope to learn from others who have experience and expertise in creating a warm culture within the Church where children and vulnerable adults are cared for and respected as valuable members of God’s family.” Teresa said. The European Conference on Safeguarding in the Catholic Church aims to restore faith and trust in the Church’s institutions by providing adequate support from the Safeguarding community to children and adults, giving them a voice, and walking together with them.

New submission deadline: 7 July 2024

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