Marists of Champagnat: Meeting of the International Commission on the Protection of Child and Vulnerable Adults
During the last week in January, the International Commission on the Protection of Child and Vulnerable Adults held its first meeting in Rome. The Commission was established by the Superior General and General Council and has representatives from all regions of the Institute, both lay and Brothers. The members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the dealing with these matters.
The meeting lasted four days and reflected on several important issues concerning safeguarding policy and practice throughout the Institute. The Institute first developed a set of safeguarding standards to be used by provinces and ministries in 2021. A major task of the Commission was to review these standards in light of current best practice in order to ensure that our ministries are safe places for children and vulnerable adults. During this January meeting, the Commission commenced this work, and it will take some time before the final revision of the standards is completed.
The Commission was also tasked with writing a number of new protocols to be used by the General Administration. A draft of these protocols has been written and will be presented to the Superior General and General Council during its current plenary session. A number of other relevant issues were also discussed during the meeting, such as how best to handle media enquires particularly when they are made to the General Administration, how best to ensure that our formation houses promote a culture of safeguarding among our young Brothers, and how best to provide appropriate formation in these matters for the General Council and the Provincials. While the work is challenging, the Commission felt it is on the right track in its efforts to promote and ensure a safe environment for all those entrusted to our care.
The members of the Commission are: Br. Ken McDonald, Chair – General Council; Br. Ben Consigli, General Council; Br. Oscar Martin Vicario, General Council; Br. Gabriel Villarea, Europe (L’Hermitage); Br. Rogerio Mateucci, America Sur (Brasil Centro-Sul); Br. Fortune Chakasara, Africa (Southern Africa); Ms. Deb Swain, Oceania (Australia); Ms Marcela Hormazabal, America Sur (Santa María de los Andes); Ms Nancy Camilleri Europe (West Central Europe), Ms Qalista Sdohny, Asia (East Asia).