Warsaw September 19-22, 2021

OUR COMMON MISSION OF

SAFEGUARDING
GOD’S CHILDREN

A Conference of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe

About the conference

Our Common Mission of Safeguarding God’s Children – this is the theme of the international conference gathering representatives of Episcopal Conferences and professionals working in the field of child and youth protection in nearly 20 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

It is another of the continental or regional conferences organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The conference is dedicated to issues related to the Church’s response to the crisis of the sexual abuse of minors. It will also be an attempt to look at a certain post-Communist mentality and its impact on the approach to the issue of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic clergy.

To be discussed during the conference are topics related to prevention, intervention (reporting abuse and implementating existing procedures described in the Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi) and proven best practices already adopted and in use in other parts of the Church, and what still needs to be implemented to ensure the maximum protection to minors.

Another aim of the conference is the exchange of experiences and the networking of people involved in the field of the protection of minors to establish closer collaboration.


News


What’s next. Cooperation has just begun!

What’s next. Cooperation has just begun!

The conference “Our Common Mission of Safeguarding God’s Children” held on September 19-22 in Warsaw ended with a proposal for further cooperation among the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe in the broadly understood work…

The conference from the perspective of the participants

The conference from the perspective of the participants

Father Marek František Drábek O.Praem from the Czech Republic and sister Agnieszka Ewa Jarkowska SCdSC from Slovakia: Konference ve Varšavě — 1. den Konference ve Varšavě — 2. den Konference ve Varšavě — 3. den…

Delegate of the PBC, Archbishop Wojciech Polak: the crisis caused by exploitation affects the essence of the Church community

Delegate of the PBC, Archbishop Wojciech Polak: the crisis caused by exploitation affects the essence of the Church community

I think that all of us gathered here today strongly believe that what we have experienced together in recent days is important and good, and that we all needed it. Personally, I am grateful for…

PRESS RELEASE – summary

PRESS RELEASE – summary

The effective protection of minors requires the cooperation of all who form the Church –emphasized during the international conference “Our Common Mission of Safeguarding God’s Children,” which concluded today in Warsaw. During the four-day meeting,…

The presentation by Prof. Myriam Wijlens

The presentation by Prof. Myriam Wijlens

Prof. Dr. Myriam Wijlens, professor of canon law in Erfurt and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, analyzing the canonical legislation, pointed out the need for a responsible approach by…

Fr. Grzegorz Strzelczyk: Distrust. Notes on the Theological Dimension of the Consequences of Sexual Abuse of Minors

Fr. Grzegorz Strzelczyk: Distrust. Notes on the Theological Dimension of the Consequences of Sexual Abuse of Minors

Christianity is born out of Easter events, and therefore out of a direct experience of contact with Jesus who gathers the disciples, announces the coming of the Kingdom, dies, rises again and gives the Holy…

PRESS RELEASE Conference on the Protection of Minors  in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe – Day 3

PRESS RELEASE Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe – Day 3

The theological consequences of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy were discussed on the third day of the international conference “Our Common Mission of Safeguarding God’s Children” in Warsaw.  Its participants also shared experiences…

Msgr Tomáš Halík – IN ANIMO CONTRITO. The phenomenon of abuse in a wider context

Msgr Tomáš Halík – IN ANIMO CONTRITO. The phenomenon of abuse in a wider context

In a spirit of humility and with a sorrowful heart – in spiritu humilitatis et in animo contrito – we want to touch on one of the most painful wounds of the Church. Even the…

PRESS RELEASE from Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe – Day 2

PRESS RELEASE from Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe – Day 2

The responsibility of pastors and the need for a profound conversion in the face of sins and crimes of sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy were discussed on the second day of the international…

Testimony – father Tarsycjusz Krasucki OFM

Testimony – father Tarsycjusz Krasucki OFM

I am expected to give my testimony here. Well then, I’ll be talking about what I have experienced. However, in the beginning I  have to confess that I don’t like testifying. This reminds me my…

PRESS RELEASE from Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe –  Day 1

PRESS RELEASE from Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe – Day 1

In his video message, Pope Francis encouraged the participants of the conference on the protection of minors in the Church of Central and Eastern Europe, which began on Sunday, September 19 in Warsaw, to listen…

Address by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki,  President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference at the International Conference of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe  “Our common mission of safeguarding God’s children” in Warsaw

Address by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference at the International Conference of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe “Our common mission of safeguarding God’s children” in Warsaw

At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all participants, starting with Cardinal O’ Malley and the commissioners of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, who…

Video message of His Holiness Pope Francis

Video message of His Holiness Pope Francis

Video message of His Holiness Pope Francis on the occasion of the meeting organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and by Polish Bishops’ Conference: Our common mission of safeguarding God’s children…

A Conference of Central and Eastern European Churches

A Conference of Central and Eastern European Churches

“Our Commission travels to Warsaw to be with the churches in Central and Eastern Europe, to listen to them, learn about their reality and help them chart a course forward in the protection of children…

‘Our Common Mission’: a regional meeting on the protection of minors

‘Our Common Mission’: a regional meeting on the protection of minors

Since early 2017, Professor Hanna Suchocka and other Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have been organizing a regional meeting on the protection of minors for Central and Eastern Europe to…

The challenge of sexual abuse: What has happened since the February 2019 Summit

The challenge of sexual abuse: What has happened since the February 2019 Summit

In February 2019, Pope Francis invited the presidents of every episcopal conference to the Vatican for a Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church to address the issue of the sexual abuse of…

Soon a Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe

Soon a Conference on the Protection of Minors in the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe

In less than two weeks, on September 19th, an international conference organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Polish Bishops’ Conference will begin in Warsaw. It will be attended by…



Organizers


The conference is an initiative of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCTM) and the Polish Bishops' Conference is co-organizing it.
The conference is co-financed by the Polish Bishops' Conference and the Saint Joseph Foundation PBC.


CARDINAL
SEÁN O’MALLEY OFMCAP.

President of the Pontifical Commission
for the Protection of Minors

ARCHBISHOP
STANISŁAW GĄDECKI

President of the Conference
of the Polish Episcopate

The organizing committee



Participants


The Conference brings together representatives of Episcopal Conferences, major superiors of male and female religious institutes and lay people from nearly 20 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The representative of the Catholic Aid Agency for Eastern Europe “Renovabis” will also take part in it.

The aim of the conference is to exchange experiences and establish closer collaboration among Church personnel and professionals from different countries and with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.



CEICM - International Bishops' Conference of Saints Cyril and Methodius
(Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo)

Membri e dipendenti della Pontificia Commissione per la Tutela dei Minori - 11

Course of the meeting


Using a workshop style, the regional meeting in Warsaw seeks to enable the exchange of experiences and the initiation of joint activities, as well as the closer collaboration of the local churches in Central and Eastern Europe in the field of preventing sexual abuse.



PRAYER AND TESTIMONIES

A time of common prayer will open and close each day. There will also be a penance service, a concelebrated Liturgy, and a Vespers service in which testimonies will be heard from people who have experienced clergy sexual abuse.

PRESENTATIONS

Nine presentations are scheduled during the conference. According to the theme of each of the conference days, they will focus on the following issues: responsibility - accountability – transparency. Three presentations will be dedicted to each topic, demonstrating the issue in relation to: - the person of the bishop and his duties; the bishop’s relationships with other bishops; the relationship of the bishops with God’s people and society.

GROUP WORK

In addition to listening to the presentations, participants will work in language groups, sharing what the issue of the protection of minors looks like in the individual countries - both in terms of prevention and in the area of assistance procedures for victims. Participants will also look at the challenges faced by the Churches in this part of Europe.

POPE FRANCIS

On the first day of the conference, Pope Francis will address participants via a video message.

Speakers


The speakers were selected so that the conference would represent different continents, cultures and contexts in the Church.



Cardinal SEÁN O’MALLEY OFMCap.

Cardinal SEÁN O’MALLEY OFMCap.

PCPM - United States

Archbishop of Boston, President of the Commission, member of the Council of Cardinals that advises Pope Francis

Archbishop STANISŁAW GĄDECKI

Archbishop STANISŁAW GĄDECKI

Poland

Metropolitan of Poznan, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Archbishop WOJCIECH POLAK

Archbishop WOJCIECH POLAK

Poland

Metropolitan of Gniezno, Primate of Poland, Delegate of the Polish Bishops’ Conference for the protection of children and youth

Prof. MYRIAM WIJLENS

Prof. MYRIAM WIJLENS

PCPM - Netherlands

Prof. PAWEŁ WILIŃSKI

Prof. PAWEŁ WILIŃSKI

PCPM - Poland

TERESA MORRIS KETTELKAMP

TERESA MORRIS KETTELKAMP

PCPM - United States

Czechy

Moderators