On May 26, 2021, the grand opening of the Center for Fostering the Wellbeing of Vulnerable Persons was held in Zagreb at the Catholic University of Croatia. It was organized based on the Pontifical Gregorian University’s (Rome) model of the CCP. Employees of the Center, with their combined skills, intend to serve the Church and help it move forward, accept responsibilities, and to be steadfast in the endeavor to protect the most vulnerable. The Catholic University of Croatia’s Rector emphasized that the Center is preparing and will be offering educational courses and programs to students and others.
The opening of this Center and others like it around the world is a sign of hope for those we aim to protect and also for those who have been wounded by abuse in some way. Fr. Hans Zollner, the CCP’s President, addressed the group gathered at the opening ceremony, stressing the importance of transformative knowledge that changes hearts—to engage as a Church and society in promoting the wellbeing of all vulnerable people.
The head of the Center, CCP alumna Marina Šijaković, MSc and the Center’s supervisor Doc. Dr. sc. Josip Bošnjaković, presented the Center itself. Bošnjaković stated: “We are deeply aware of the harm done to children and other vulnerable people various types of abuse. Their lives are forever marked. Their pain and suffering have inspired us to undertake concrete steps in preventing any form of abuse. It is a process of transformation in our mentality: we want to take responsibility, build transparent communication between survivors and institutions, and be brave and resolute in listening to silenced voices in the Church and society. We realize that the wounds on Christ’s body are our wounds as well.”
Marina Šijaković addressed the guests, stating: “The main activity of the Center is prevention through different forms of education offered to students, professors, educators, priests, religious, and seminarians. … We are encouraging various social groups, as well as the entire public, to fight against any form of abuse in order to create a safe environment for children and vulnerable persons …”