Wellbeing and Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons

On the threshold of Pope Francis’s “Motu Proprio” on the protection of minors and in accordance with the directions of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life, the Focolare Movement has updated their “Guidelines for the Promotion of the Wellbeing and Protection of Minors and Vulnerable persons”, published in 2014.

Purpose of the Guidelines 

The Document reaffirms the general principles informing the Focolare’s activities with young people and teenagers. It deals particularly with:

  • The legal obligation of the Movement’s staff to adopt all possible precautionary measures in order to ensure there is no abuse of any kind against minors and vulnerable persons;
  • The moral obligation of all those belonging to the Movement to report cases of abuse of which they become aware and to collaborate with the agencies responsible for reconstructing the facts that are the subject of such reports.

Particular attention is given to the victims, to whom the Focolare Movement is committed to offering all necessary help, through its consultants.

Prevention work at the Centre

The new Guidelines reaffirm the importance of prevention and, for this purpose, continued training for adults entrusted with the care of minors.

In an interview, the lawyer Orazio Moscatello, administrator of the Central Commission for the Promotion of Wellbeing and the Protection of Minors (CO.BE.TU.) explained that, “adults to whom it is intended to entrust minors should attend a basic course during which topics related to childhood are studied in depth from a psychological, pedagogical, and legal point of view. According to the new guidelines, these courses need to be attended every two years and there will be a test after each course to evaluate each adult’s suitability to carry out activities with minors. In addition, the guidelines regarding the working environment, relationships with the families and the protocols for emergency situations will be reinforced”.

The drafting of the new Guidelines comes after a heartfelt invitation, addressed to all members of the Focolare Movement, to make an active commitment to the protection of minors, in a letter from the President of the Focolare Movement Maria Voce and Co-President Jesus Moran, issued in March 2019.

In order to fulfil their commitment, the Focolare Movement has also formed a Permanent International Commission and national commissions, made up of professionals in a range of fields (lawyers, psychologists, educators, developmental experts, pediatricians…), to whom reports of abuse can be sent.

Contacts, information and reporting:

cobetu@focolare.org
Via Frascati, 306 – 00040 – Rocca di Papa – Roma (Italia)
+39 06 947989