17 November 2020
Abuse

The dynamic of abuse in ecclesial realities: the role of power

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The Pontifício Instituto Superior de Direito Canônico of Rio de Janeiro and its affiliates in the in the Archdioceses of Goiânia and Londrina, in cooperation with the different canon law institutes of Brazil, organized an international virtual conference on the protection of minors and vulnerable persons from 3 – 7 November 2020, in order to contribute to formation and reflection on this timely and compelling theme within the Church.

On 7 November Isabelle Cassarà, an official of the Dicastery, was invited to address the conference on the topic of: “The dynamics of abuse in ecclesial realities: the role of power” (video). The analysis prepared by Dr. Cassarà was based on the experience gained by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life in its service to associations of the faithful, and it considers the role of power in the dynamics of abuse with a specific aim: prevention.

After identifying the existence of specific elements of corruption which can foster truly abusive systems by introducing themselves into the associations and community life of ecclesial realities, Cassarà focused attention on those factors and processes which the ecclesiastical authority is called to monitor for the purposes of effective abuse prevention. She then went on to present some criteria of discernment which can be useful in terms of preventing abusive practices, norms, and customs from insinuating themselves into the life of associations and into their modes of government.