Both Fuchs and Franck spoke at a series of webinars organized by the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations in Spanish, French, and English to mark the beginning of the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family,” highlighting the need to prevent abuse amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Franck told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that “we are all responsible for prevention.”
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the World Health Organization reported that 25% of children worldwide suffer from neglect, mistreatment, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.
“It is adults who must create and promote the safest possible environments for children. That is why awareness-raising, training, and the establishment of clear and mandatory rules are another very important general line for prevention,” Franck said.
Linda Ghisoni, the undersecretary for the Vatican Dicastery of Laity, Family, and Life, wrote the book’s preface. At the Spanish webinar on March 29, she said that the coronavirus restrictions have made accompaniment of victims and “the protection of the most vulnerable even more difficult.”
“Children, women, people with disabilities -- locked in their homes more isolated than usual -- have often been more exposed to loneliness and violence,” Ghisoni said.
The Vatican official noted that it was apt that the child prevention webinars were taking place in Holy Week.
“These sessions, which take place precisely during Holy Week, show the loving concern of the women who ... in the silence of Holy Saturday prepare the precious oils to anoint the body of the Lord, pierced with wounds, the body of Christ, which is the Church, to anoint His wounds still visible made glorious in the Risen One,” she said.
María Lía Zervino, the president-general of the Catholic women’s organization, also highlighted the link between the Lord’s suffering on the cross and the scourge of child abuse.
“We are all here, gathered in this week in which Jesus is going to have his Passion, going to his death to give his life for us, also we have to give our lives for them, for the children ... if they are at risk or, of course, if they have had these horrible experiences,” she said.