VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has written a prologue to a recently published book on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church entitled “Theology and Prevention.”
“Fighting against abuse means fostering and empowering communities capable of watching over and announcing that all life deserves to be respected and valued, especially that of the most defenseless who do not have the resources to make their voices heard,” Pope Francis wrote in the introduction to the book.
“In this most recent time in the Church we were challenged to face this conflict, accept it and suffer it together with the victims, their families and the entire community to find ways that make us say: never again to the culture of abuse,” the pope said.
The book, “Theology and Prevention: A Study on Sexual Abuse in the Church,” was published in Spanish this month by Sal Terrae and edited by Fr. Daniel Portillo Trevizo.
It was the initiative of the Center for Research and Interdisciplinary Training for the Protection of Minors (CEPROME), an organization affiliated with the Pontifical University of Mexico that provides research and training on the protection of minors in Latin America. Trevizo currently serves as CEPROME’s director.
Contributors to the book include Msgr. Luis Manuel Alí Herrera from Colombia, Benjamín Clariond from Mexico, and Eamonn Conway from Ireland. It touches on the subjects of abuse of power, priestly celibacy, and structural clericalism.
“I am grateful for the contributions of each of the authors who, from the point of view of theology, invite us to delve into this painful evil of sexual abuse that has occurred in our Catholic Church,” Pope Francis wrote.
CEPROME is currently offering an online course on “The prevention of sexual abuse in Latin America” from Sept. 7 to Oct. 2. Next month the center will be offering another online course, “The prevention of child sexual abuse in education contexts,” on Oct. 5-16.
In his introduction, signed and dated July 9, the pope wrote that the reality of clerical sexual abuse “demands that we work to raise awareness, prevent and promote the culture of care and protection of our communities and in society in general so that no one sees their integrity and dignity violated or mistreated.”
“I pray for you, for all the good that you do and also that the fruits of your efforts be fruitful in prevention and prophetic in promoting a lively and joyful ecclesial community with the unmistakable flavor of the Gospel,” Pope Francis said.