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Bolivian Conference of Men and Women Religious “Care and Protection of Children, Adolescents, and Vulnerable Adults in the Church"

The Bolivian Conference of Men and Women Religious (CBR is its Spanish acronym) took place from the 23rd to the 25th of October. The event was a seminar on the Care and Protection of Children, Adolescents, and Vulnerable Adults in the Church” for the Andean-Amazonia region of the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious (CLAR). 79 consecrated and lay women and men from Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia took part. Among them, there were representatives of men and women religious from the various countries.

The CLAR Commission for the Protection of Children, Adolescents, and Vulnerable Adults prepared and developed the meeting with the help of María Rosaura González Casas, STJ (Commission Coordinator), Marcela Sáenz, ACI (office for listening in Chile) and Daniel Medina, OAR (president of the Buenos Aires Interdiocesan Tribunal).

Participants, encouraged to have a conversion to consecrated life, recognized the “abuse of power, emotional, and sexual abuse system,” which allowed these crimes to happen in the Church. They therefore committed themselves to:

  • ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS from all victims for the atrocious crimes that were committed in the Church;
  • LISTENING to victims with the wounded heart of Christ on the Cross;
  • CREATING safe environments for children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults, and protocols and safeguarding strategies, so that there will “never again” be victims of sexual abuse where religious men and women are present.

On October 26th, María Rosaura González Casas, STJ, coordinator of the CLAR Commission for Safeguarding, met with 27 male and female formators in order to deepen the discernment criteria for the admission of candidates to consecrated life, the characteristics of pastoral relations with those in formation, and the accompaniment processes.

Written by: Ma. Rosaura González Casas, STJ