The Order has updated the canonical protocol of action for possible cases of abuse and has developed prevention and action guides for the different areas of the apostolate.
Following its commitment to the culture of good treatment and against abuse, the Order of Augustinian Recollects has presented the document Prevention and Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons. It contains the latest update of the canonical protocol of action in the face of denunciations of crimes against the sixth commandment in minors and vulnerable persons, as well as guidelines and recommendations for prevention and action in the different areas of the work of the Order.
The document has the particularity that, for the first time, it brings together all the areas of the Order and proposes actions for each reality. Thus, it offers guidelines for action in pastoral ministry, mission, educational apostolate, social works, formation and vocation ministry. Until now, there was only a guide for action in the field of education.
In this way, each ministry of the Order will be able to have concrete guidelines with this document, although it only offers orientations that must be adapted to each context, since the legislations are different in each country.
A section on key concepts has also been included, so that this issue can be discussed with a common language and in the same terms. In addition, the compendium contains examples of forms for gathering information and also guidelines for the management of communication in reputational crises.
The document was presented by the Prior General together with the Decree of promulgation of the updated canonical protocol, including the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Pascite Gregem Dei, of May 23, 2021, reforming Book VI of the Code of Canon Law. In his presentation, Miguel Angel Hernandez invites to take these actions as “an opportunity to review our life and mission in the key of good treatment, evaluating our life and mission in the community and in the apostolic work”.
To make their knowledge and application easier, the Order’s Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons has prepared an introductory online course that will be available from February 2023 on the e-learning platform of the School of Formation ‘In imum cordis’. Along with this, other online and face-to-face training courses will be offered to deepen this topic aimed at major superiors, local priors, religious and lay people responsible for apostolic works and all those who carry out their work in the Order’s environments.
This document is the result of the work of the Order’s Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons, which has recently incorporated new members and continues to focus its efforts on formation and prevention.