The Focolare Movement has now published the first report on cases of abuse of children and vulnerable adults; and on spiritual abuse and abuse of authority that has occurred in the Focolare Movement, with reference to reparation measures, new investigative procedures, and training in safeguarding.
“We are writing to give you a public account of information regarding the reports we have received and the measures we have taken as the Focolare Movement in response to the scourge of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults and the abuse of conscience, spiritual abuse, and the abuse of authority regarding adults, which has also affected us”.
In an open letter, Focolare President Margaret Karram, and Co-President Jésus Morán present the first report on the handling of abuse cases within the Movement. The report, published this year on 31st March 2023, one year after GCPS Consulting‘s investigation into serious cases of sexual abuse by a former French focolarino, J.M.M., will be issued annually.
The Movement has been working to take the necessary steps to ensure the prevention and all-round safeguarding of the person in all the environments in which its activities take place. Therefore, as the President and Co-President of the Focolare explain, the report being published today, is a first account of the measures of prevention, investigation, transparency, training, and change, undertaken by the Movement, to combat these crimes.
First, the President and Co-President sincerely ask each victim and survivor for forgiveness, on behalf of the Focolare Movement. And they express their deep gratitude to the victims and survivors, and to the families and communities involved, not only in France, but in all countries where cases of abuse have come to light. It is thanks to their cooperation and especially their courage in facing and bringing these crimes to light, that the Movement today is more consciously pursuing new commitments and procedures regarding safeguarding.
The report consists of several parts and presents figures relating to abuses reported to the Commission for the Wellbeing and Safeguarding of the Person (in Italian CO.BE.TU.) since 2014, the year of its establishment and therefore of the systematic gathering of reports, until December 2022. Information on the “foundation courses on safeguarding” carried out in the various countries where the Focolare Movement exists are also included.
Another section is dedicated to the measures put in place, or being put in place, as a priority, following the recommendations of the independent Inquiry by GCPS Consulting; training courses and measures concerning safeguarding available to all members of the Movement, especially formators and those who work with children. Training events have already been held for those in positions of responsibility in the Movement at various levels, from the central leadership to those responsible for different geographical areas.
The Independent Central Commission has been set up together with procedures regarding reports, accusations and investigations
As of 1st May 2023, the Independent Central Commission will start work and the task of CO.BE.TU will end. The new body will deal exclusively with the handling of reports, while training will be coordinated centrally and locally by another team of experts and consultants.
The report also presents the ‘Procedures for handling cases of abuse in the Focolare Movement’, the ‘Role of the Independent Central Commission’ and ‘Guidelines on support and financial reparation in the case of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults’.
Download PDF Report on the handling of abuse cases within the Focolare Movement
Me parece excelente la clarificación de estos hechos, aunque duela. Pero también nos señala la necesidad de una mayor prevención en la formación de los focolarinos y en la aceptación de los postulantes. Por ejemplo, respecto a su madurez en la vida ciudadana, trabajo, estudio, ambiente social. Saludos
gracias a Margared y a Jesús Roman, porque han permitido que este proceso tan doloroso, se realice con justicia y transparencia . Dios permita a las victimas sentirse representados y defendidos con estas medidas que se están adoptando para prevenir la repetición de tales eventos.
decisione importante e necessaria. Era un documento atteso. Dobbiamo vigilare anche per quelli psicologici e spirituali per verificare se ci sono rimasugli di questi tipi di abuso meno riconoscibili. Grazie
L’accompagnamento reciproco lo trovo grande strumento di prevenzione. Ma una cosa fondamentale nell’atto di accoglimento a membro interno è quello di verificare lo stato psichico della persona candidata. La libertà di scelta di vita deve essere mai intaccata da suggestioni spirituali, ma da consapevolezza globale che tale scelta comporta. Siamo tutti artefici del futuro dell’Opera.