Today, the Centre for Child Protection held graduation exercises for the fifth class of students to complete the Diploma in Safeguarding program, celebrating the accomplishments of 25 graduates.
Following a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Prof. Myriam Wijlens, the keynote speaker, gave a talk entitled “The Church being a safe place for children. Opportunities and challenges for the ministry of safeguarding.” Prof. Wijlens is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and professor of canon law in the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Erfurt (Germany). On behalf of bishops and major superiors, she has conducted numerous preliminary canonical penal investigations, hearing victims and accused. She also teaches courses on the topic of children’s welfare and rights, as well on the topic of sexual abuse of minors. Dr. Wijlens serves as a delegate for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity to the Faith and Order Commission and as an expert to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. She is an honorary professor of ecumenism and canon law at the University of Durham (UK).
After Dr. Wijlens’ talk, four graduates shared their final projects with those gathered.
A video produced by Fr. Antonio Carrón de la Torre and some of the students was shared at the event:
This year, the students came from nineteen different countries to Rome. They are the fifth class of international students to conclude the one-semester diploma program, which, since 2016, has been held annually at the Pontifical Gregorian University in order to educate experts for the prevention of sexual abuse of minors and is based on a victims-first approach. Coordinated by Sr. Karolin Kuhn, Dr. Katharina A. Fuchs, and Fr. Antonio Carrón de la Torre, the diploma course includes interdisciplinary classes that focus on different topics related to the safeguarding of children and adolescents.