“The true peacemakers are those who preserve peace of mind and body for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite what they suffer in the world.” — St. Francis of Asissi
Starting today and continuing until February 9th at the Gregorian University in Rome a symposium is being held entitled “Towards Healing and Renewal.” From what I know, this is an opportunity to discuss the need for healing from sexual abuse within the Church. It website indicates it is for bishops and religious superiors.
It looks promising. I would hope it bears fruit. The Holy See issued a message today addressed to Fr. Dumortier, SJ the rector of the Gregorian. In part, he said:
“… healing for victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community, and it must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the Church at every level…. the Holy Father therefore supports and encourages every effort to respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of providing children and vulnerable adults with an ecclesial environment conducive to their human and spiritual growth.”
Here is the news release (minus the media notes) regarding the symposium. It contains some interesting information.
Rome, January 24, 2012
Church leaders from across the world come to Rome to relaunch their commitment to the safeguarding of the vulnerable with a new global initiative: “Towards Healing and Renewal”
Bishops and Religious Superiors from across the world will come to Rome in February for the launch of the Catholic Church’s global initiative on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
Towards Healing and Renewal is being offered by the Gregorian University in Rome and consists of a major symposium followed by the launch of a multiinstitution e-learning centre which will run for the next three years – the Centre for the Protection of Children based in Munich, Germany. Delegates for the symposium will come from about 110 Bishops’ Conferences and also be superiors of more than 30 Religious Orders, making this a truly international gathering focusing on safeguarding by the Catholic Church.
This initiative has the support of several Vatican Congregations as well as the Secretary of State and the symposium, which will run from February 6-9, will have speakers from all continents in recognition of the global nature of safeguarding the vulnerable. The speakers include the testimony of a victim of abuse, who will address the delegates about the need for victims to be heard and how to effect positive change. Full details of the symposium and the speakers are available on the website thr.unigre.it.
Following the 2011 circular letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to Bishops’ Conferences requiring all Dioceses in the world to develop guidelines within the next year on the handling of all abuse allegations, the symposium will play a significant role in enabling Bishops and major religious superiors to move towards creating a consistent global response. Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, will give the opening address at the Symposium conference, and representatives from the CDF have had a very active role in giving shape to Towards Healing and Renewal.
The e-learning centre based in Munich (Germany), more formally known as the Center for Child Protection of the Institute for Psychology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, which will be run by Hubert Liebhardt, Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University as well as serving at the University of Ulm, has full funding secured for three years. It will enable the dissemination of good practices to assist in the setting up of local structures to introduce robust procedures to deal quickly and effectively with all allegations of abuse and will go live at the conclusion of the symposium.
“Towards Healing and Renewal” will also act as a catalyst in developing a culture of listening and healing within the Church.
The Holy Father today nominated Fr. Edward J. Weisenburger of the archdiocese of Oklahoma City to be the next bishop of Salina, Kansas.
Bishop Weisenburger was born in 1960 in the diocese of Springfield, Illinois. He studied theology at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and later obtained a license in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.
He was ordained a priest in 1987 and since then has held a number of diocesan positions including Vicar General and Rector of the cathedral in his home diocese.
The date of his episcopal ordination has not yet been set.
Congratulations, diocese of Salina!