The seminar was conducted according to the guidelines of the new Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis and was hosted by the Franciscan Faculty of Theology in Sarajevo.
Second lecture whose theme was “Recognizing signs of sexual abuse and prevention” was held by Marina Šijaković, religion teacher and expert associate in long-term formation of priests regarding child protection in Đakovo-Osijek Archdiocese. Theologian Šijaković completed her education in the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and her lecture focused on two levels – individual and social, that show how and why abuse occurs. “Christianity not only recognizes dignity of each human, including minors, but also puts emphasis on children.” – Theologian Marina Šijaković pointed out, referencing to scriptural text: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these!” (Mt 19, 14.)
In the second part of her lecture, she explained how to recognize abusers and victims, how to approach the perpetrator of the offense and how to help victims of abuse. At the end methods and ways of going forward were presented.
Even though in the West, the practice of these seminars are widely spread, on our region this educational training it is only beginning to take off, so this seminar is good prevention for dealing with these harsh problems in Church and society in general.
Ms. Šijaković held work groups based on content presented after the lecture, and group work was followed by the reports and the conclusions of each group.