Foundation “Spes et Salus” established

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has established, with his own funds, the Spes et Salus Foundation for people abused by clerics and other church personnel.

In an article published by The Tablet, Msgr. Beer and Fr. Zollner comment on the new foundation’s purpose: «Our hope is that Spes et Salus will be a different kind of space in the Church, a place where victims and survivors will be partners with others in the Church in developing resources that will help the process of spiritual healing. This new foundation will support survivors in developing their own independent and personal understanding of faith or their own personal philosophy. We hope that it will not only help with the healing process for survivors, but that it will also help bring greater understanding and healing to the whole Body of Christ.»

In his statement on Spes et Salus, the cardinal explains the meaning of the foundation’s name: «Spes, the hope that God does not abandon man, that he does not leave man alone in his suffering, but that he will always reach out his hand to us, so that despite all the negative things, positive developments are possible in the future. Salus, salvation, can ultimately only be given by God himself, but we can do something to prepare the way for God’s work.»

On its website, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising speaks of the foundation’s statutes: «The Spes et Salus Foundation will be administered under the umbrella of the Archdiocese’s St. Korbinian Foundation. The chairman of the foundation’s advisory board, to which one of the affected persons also belongs, will be the former vicar general of the Archdiocese, Msgr. Peter Beer. According to its statutes, the purpose of the foundation is “to contribute to strengthening, promoting and supporting those affected by abuse on the path of their self-empowerment and self-determined personal development”. Those affected should be “not only the addressees and participants of the activities, offers, and measures”, but “be equally active participants in the discussion, conception, design, and evaluation of what can and should be achieved through the foundation”. The foundation will cooperate in particular with the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Stiftung Begegnungszentrum of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in Rome. The statutes of Spes et Salus stipulate that sub-foundations are possible “whose purpose is consistent with the purpose of the foundation”.»