Cuban priests receive training to prevent sexual abuse

Cuban priests receive training to prevent sexual abuse

HAVANA, Aug. 22nd. Although unfortunately, the Catholic Church has had to face massive complaints of sexual abuse of minors in recent years, so far in Cuba no case has come to light. However, according to Catholic media reports, Cuban priests are receiving training to prevent or act in the event of complaints of this nature.

The initiative is promoted by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC) and they focus on training days for their pastoral agents, so that they know how to collaborate with the prevention of cases of abuse in ecclesial environments.

As reported by the Catholic agency ACI Prensa, the secretary of the ad hoc Commission for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons of the COCC, Yimel González, explained that the participants make up the diocesan listening teams and “are in charge of collaborating with the bishops in acting before possible news of abuses”.

The work teams are made up of priests, nuns and lay people, and can have from three to six members, specialized in Psychology, Law, Forensic Medicine, Pediatrics, etc.

The first meeting of this type, which took place in the Archdiocese of Havana, was attended by people from the dioceses of Pinar del Río, Matanzas, Santa Clara, Ciego de Ávila, Cienfuegos and from the Cuban capital itself.

According to the priest, these conferences are encouraged by the bishops, who in April attended a training meeting, in which the issue was addressed “with an approach of its own for the Cuban Episcopate,” the agency quoted.

Future appointments will take place in the dioceses of Holguín, Guantánamo, Bayamo-Baracoa and in the Archdioceses of Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba.

According to González, these meetings “address issues such as abuse of conscience, power and sexual abuse and the dynamics in which this is carried out.” It also explains how to ensure that ecclesial spaces are safe from the implementation of the Code of Conduct that has been approved by the Episcopate”.

Upon assuming the mandate, Pope Francis expressed that the denunciations of sexual abuse within the Church would be one of the main objectives of his ecclesial exercise.