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IADC, Order of Malta sign Memorandum of Understanding Agreement

The Institute of Anthropology (IADC) and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable persons and facilitate education and formation in Safeguarding. 

The five-year agreement was signed December 15 at the IADC’s Rome office in Villa Malta by Father Mark A. Lewis, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, commonly known as the Knights of Malta. 

According to the memorandum, the IADC will provide support and advice “for the purpose of drafting guidelines, policies, codes of conduct and safety concepts that will provide instructions for all volunteers and employees” of the Knights of Malta, as well as provide formation programs that “professionally and adequately relate to victims of sexual abuse and their families and to act in favor of the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable people.”

In turn, the Knights of Malta will “appoint official(s) in charge of safeguarding and the implementation of the guidelines” and will “activate formation courses aimed at its staff and volunteers.”

“The cooperation that this Memorandum of Understanding represents will facilitate the care and protection of minors in a more developed and educated way in conjunction with the many important health and welfare outreaches undertaken by the Knights of Malta,” Father Mark A. Lewis said. 

"The agreement signed today is the starting point of a multifaceted program of listening and training initiatives for our members, volunteers and employees, to safeguard our beneficiaries and all children and vulnerable people,” said Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis. 

Noting the significance of the agreement, Father Hans Zollner, S.J., IADC Director, said: "We are glad and honored that the Knights of Malta have asked us to assist them in their commitment to Safeguarding by means of our competences in education and formation. We are very much looking forward to collaborating at different levels in support of the universal mission of the Knights."