Commission for the Protection of Vulnerable Minors and Adults

04/05/2020

Following from priorities raised during the USG Assembly in May 2019, through the 2019 - 2021 ACTION PLAN, a joint UISG-USG Commission for the Protection of Vulnerable Minors and Adults was created.

The objective of the Commission is to give support to Superiors and General Councilors in order to:

  • Promote a culture of personal care based on formation and prevention;
  • Support the creation of policies for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, and codes of conduct;
  • Build a platform for sharing resources and good practices to be made available to congregations;
  • Network with religious, ecclesiastical, and civil institutions.

The Commission is composed of ten members, five each from the USG and UISG, who have been selected for their expertise in different fields: theological, canonical, socio-psychotherapeutic, members of the Executive Councils of USG and UISG, executive secretaries, and there will also be a permanent secretariat that will take care of the most immediate tasks.

The USG members of the Commission are:

  • Stefano Bittasi, SJ, a member of the Society of Jesus, with a doctorate in theology, is Executive Secretary of the CCP (Centre for Child Protection) at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
  • Tim Brennan, MSC, Safeguard Advisor to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, was Provincial in Australia and Executive Secretary of the National Catholic Office for Professional Standards (NCPS) for seven years.
  • Brendan Geary, FMS, former Provincial of the Marist Brothers, clinical psychologist in the United Kingdom. He is currently educator and facilitator in the areas of: child protection, psychology, human development, sexuality, etc. and has published several articles and book chapters on these topics.
  • Alejandro Moral, OSA, Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine, was Procurator General for years and is currently also a member of the Executive Council of the USG.
  • Emili Turú, FMS, former Superior General of the Marist Brothers from 2009 to 2017, has been Secretary General of the USG since 2018.

The UISG members of the Commission are:

  • Mary T. Barron, OLA, Superior General of the Missionary Sisters Our Lady of the Apostles, is currently also a member of the UISG Executive Council. 
  • Anna Deodato, a consecrated member of the Diocesan Auxiliary Institute of Milan, performs listening service at the centre for vocational accompaniment. She reported dramatic experiences of abuse in a book entitled Vorrei risorgere dalle mie ferite - Donne consacrate e abusi sessuali ("I would like to rise from my wounds - Consecrated women and sexual abuse") in 2016.
  • Maria Rosaura Gonzales Casas, STJ, religious of the Society of St. Teresa, professor of the Institute of Psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
  • Tiziana Merletti, SFP, Franciscan Sister of the Poor, was Superior General of her Congregation, graduated in Law, canonist.
  • Patricia Murray, IBVM, Executive Secretary of the UISG, Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture.

The commission will meet three or four times a year. The first meeting is scheduled for June 22, 2020 and will take place online.

Photo by  Rene Bernal on Unsplash