An interdisciplinary study day organized by the Faculty of Canon Law together with the Institute of Psychology, was held today at the Pontifical Gregorian University on the topic “The Church—Between a Commitment to Transparency and Respect for Secret”. The morning session, moderated by CCP president Fr. Hans Zollner SJ, brought together specialists in Moral Theology, Civil Law, and Psychology to speak on the various criteria governing practice of professional secret proper to each field, and the relationship of privacy to the value of transparency—important for fostering trusting relationships. The crux of the problem was presented by Fr. Paolo Benanti, TOR: between the challenge to protect the privacy of a person and that of practicing what transparency is healthy for the community—if the two values are in conflict, justice must govern which value prevails.
In the afternoon session, experts in Canon Law and Vatican City State policy joined the conversation with presentations including an overview of how the concepts of secrecy and transparency developed in Church history, regarding transparency in the administration of Church goods, and what has been the function of secrecy in ecclesial penal processes.
Some members of the CCP team, doctoral students and diploma students participated in the study day which is especially pertinent to the field of safeguarding, with many of the presentations noting the developments in the Church in this area as a response to child sexual abuse.