This title summarizes the goal of the efforts of the Church to assure that all her members and her institutions promote a way of being and of doing things that protects youth and vulnerable adults from those who would abuse them. The goal has slowly dawned in the Church, notably strengthened by the Moto Proprium of Pope Francis Vos Estis Lux Mundi of May 7, 2019 (http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/papa-francesco-motu-proprio-20190507_vos-estis-lux-mundi.html) and the following Vademecum of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of July 16, 2020 (https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20200716_vademecum-casi-abuso_en.html).
The Congregation of the Mission is committed to generating a safe environment in everyplace that we are present. The current status of our provinces and vice-provinces is that 11 have no policies in place, 3 have confreres follow the policies in place where they work, 3 are thinking about a policy, 4 are drafting a policy, 14 have a policy in place and 7 have not answered the request for information.
In order to promote enthusiasm and sharing in this regard, Fr. Miles Heinen, Assistant General, has begun to gather experienced confreres in the English speaking world to help formulate a process of intensifying our engagement with this very important goal. The first meeting of Fr. Miles, Fr. Greg Brett and Fr. John Era took place on May 1. We were all of one mind on the necessity of taking initiative in this regard and of the need for mutual support since the issue itself is emotionally draining. We focused ourselves around the concept of a “new normal” which has emerged and heard that we all have best practices to share. We also heard how important formation is around this issue, a formation not just of policy awareness, but of change of heart, beginning with leadership. We will be meeting once a month for now and are hopeful that perhaps three more will join the group in the near future.