.- Organizers revealed new details about an international conference on clerical sex abuse slated for February of next year in Rome.
âWe want to share the best practicesâ in combating the issue, Fr. Hans Zollner S.J., Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Symposium, told CNA on June 18.
âSo weâve invited speakers who are experts in the field of working with victims and also those who are experts in understanding the psychology of perpetrators.â
The âTowards Healing and Renewal Symposiumâ will take place February 6-9, 2012, at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome.
The conference will invite over 200 representatives from bishopsâ conferences and major religious orders around the world.
It is hoped the gathering in Rome will assist them in drawing up new guidelines to deal with the issue of clerical abuse â a requirement recently imposed by the Vatican upon church bodies who donât yet have such charters.
âWe have to now put in action what the Pope has repeatedly asked for,â said Fr. Zollner, âthat is to develop guidelines on how to deal with the issue of abuse in the Church.â
The three-day conference will hear from experts drawn from various fields - including psychology, canon law, moral theology and sociology â and also from around the globe.
Baroness Sheila Hollins, who is Professor of Psychiatry at St. Georgeâs University in London, England, helped announce the conference on June 18.
âMy talk at the symposium will be jointly shared by a victim of abuse. The person who is going to accompany me - and weâll do a joint presentation - is somebody who has agreed to come but is not ready today to disclose her name and photograph.â
Also taking part will be Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who is the Vaticanâs sex crimes prosecutor.
âThe symposium that was announced today organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University intends to put the word 'formation' into the equation of responding to sex abuse by clergy,â he told CNA.
âThat will help with prevention, with an adequate response to sexual abuse when it happens, and with formation of the local communities â family, young people and also Church leaders.â
A key legacy of the conference will be the establishment of an online educational resource called an âE-Center.â
âThe E-Center will be a multilingual website that provides the most current information and resources on sexual abuse for Church leaders, not only for bishops and religious superiors, but also for Church leaders of dioceses,â said Monsignor Klaus Peter Franzl of the Archdiocese of Munich at Saturdayâs press conference.
The most importantly factor at the conference though, says Msgr. Sciclula, will be the voice of the victims.
âThat is a voice that we need to hear. It is a voice that has been silent for quite some time but we need to hear from victims because we need to learn the effects of sin, delicts and crimes.â