Mexico conference aims to help Latin America fight abuse in the Church


July 24, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Pope Francis wants an “apostleship of prevention” when it comes to abuse, he said in a new video.

“Any person, a lay man or woman, a religious man or woman, a priest, a bishop, who prevents children from reaching Jesus must be stopped while we’re still in time, or punished if they’ve committed a crime,” Francis said in a video he sent last week to the 170 participants of a five-week program on abuse prevention at the Pontifical University of Mexico.

The course, ending July 27, was organized by the university’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Formation for the Protection of Minors (CEPROME), which works with the Center for Child Protection at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

“As a comparison though it’s not a nice one: Drugs,” Francis said, noting that though it takes much effort, a person who’s addicted to drugs can be cured, and it’s important to try to do so. “But the question is how do you prevent children from doing drugs? Here the question is, how do we prevent children being abused? The apostleship of prevention.”

When it comes to the Catholic Church, he said, children must be protected so that “no one – not a single person – abuses them, that no one might keep them from coming to Jesus.”

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