Ecumenical News International - June 3, 2011
Pedophilia a serious problem in Asia, say Catholic bishops
Tokyo (ENInews)--The clergy office of the Federation of Roman Catholic Asian Bishops' Conferences has announced that it will hold a seminar on "The Impact of Pedophilia-Crisis on the Church in Asia." "[I]t is an urgent task before us, especially the leaders of the Church, to come together to devise some mechanisms to prevent future occurrences of child abuse by Church men/women," said the office that is organising the seminar for Asian bishops and clergy from 14 to 19 November 2011 at Assumption University in Bangkok.
MSIJ-BUILDING, PINTO VALLEY, KAVOOR POST
MANGALORE-575015, KARNATAKA, INDIA
AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR BISHOPS AND FORMATORS ON “THE IMPACT OF PEDOPHILIA-CRISIS ON THE CHURCH IN ASIA”
From Nov. 14th (arrival) to Nov.19th (departure), 2011, at the Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand
No. of Seats: 100 Admission: First come first served
Dear Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Formators,
At the last meeting of FABC-Office of Clergy held at the Camillian Pastoral Care Center, Bangkok, in January, 2011, it was decided that the FABC-OC will organize a seminar for Bishops and Formators of Asia on the theme: “The Impact of Pedophilia-Crisis on the Church in Asia.” The reasons for this seminar are
many, and the most important of all is that Bishops all over Asia (including Nuncios of various Asian countries) receive letters from different quarters of the Church that Pedophilia has already become a considerably serious problem in Asia.
Though the issue of Child Abuse-crisis has not yet come into the open in the societies of Asian countries, as it has happened in the West or in other continents of the world, yet it appears it will not be too late before it might come to the similar situation in Asia.
It is therefore the bounden duty of the Church in Asia to take drastic and immediate measures to contain this issue of Child Abuse within the Church circles, and to deal with it squarely, without delay, before it will go out of hand like it has done in the other countries of the world. Another reason why this seminar is important and urgent because many a priest, religious sister, including Bishops/Formators are not aware of what in reality is Pedophilia, and what it does to the child-victim. This is why the FABC-OC took note of the issue seriously, and has planned to organize a seminar on this theme first at Asia level, and then, may be at regional levels, e.g. South Asia level or countrywise, as the need arises.
Let us not be complacent that the continent of Asia is an exception to the issue of sexual abuse. One is overwhelmed by the pathetic sharing of painful emotions by some lay victims, seminarians, priests and women religious during counseling sessions for the past two decades. Thus it is an urgent task before us, especially the leaders of the Church, to come together to devise some mechanisms to prevent future occurrences of child abuse by Church men/women. Let us not be complacent that pedophilia is a problem of the West or the other continents of the world, it is equally prevalent in many countries of Asia.
TOPICS—to be deliberated during the Seminar:
1. Pedophilia: Definitions, Symptoms, Causal Factors and Diagnosis: Resource Person: Fr. Lawrence Pinto, FABC-OC Executive Secretary, India.
2. The Impact of Pedophilia-Crisis on the Universal Church: Resource Person: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Charles J, Scicluna, Promoter of Justice, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome, Italy (points to be emphasized in this paper are: neglect by bishops, people’s anger against priests, etc.)
3. The Role of the Church-Leaders in Handling the Challenge of the Sexual Abuse and in particular, the Issue of Pedophilia: Resource Person: Rt. Rev. Abbot Michael Kelly, O.S.B., Rome, Italy.
4. Legal Implications of Allegations of Pedophilia and the Rights of the Alleged Victimizer. Resource Person: Mr. Shammil Perera, Attorney-at-Law Sri Lanka.
5. Therapeutic Measures for the Alleged Pedophiles and the Need of Programmes of Awareness for Priests, Seminarians and Religious in all Dioceses of Asia. Resource Person: Rev. Fr. Jaime Noel Deslate, Tagaytay, Philippines
6. The obligations of the Church Leaders to Protect Children from Sexual Abusers and the Need to Assist the Victims of Pedophilia at all levels. Resource Person: Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Bombay, India.
7. Fifteen participants (15), including some resource Persons will be selected to spend a day together—the last day of the seminar(19th)—to formulate specific guidelines to deal with the crisis of Pedophilia in Asia.(Members will be selected from the among participants and the resource persons)
OBJECTIVES OF THE SEMINAR
1. To make bishops and formators aware of the gravity of pedophilia on the church in Asia.
2. To explore the possibilities of remedial measures for pedophilia-affected persons and organize programmes to train skilled personnel to handle possible pedophilia-crisis in the future.
3. To prepare guidelines for church leaders, formators and those in charge of children’s organizations for the protection of children in particular.
Fr. Lawrence Pinto, MSIJ Executive Secretary
FABC-Office of Clergy
Kandy, Sri Lanka
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