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Church and abuse: Mgr. Patrón Wong (Holy See), “personal and communal vigilance” in seminaries

“Never drop our guard and work together to finally eradicate this horror”. This is the invitation made by Mgr. Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, Secretary for Seminaries at the Congregation for the Clergy, in an interview with SIR news agency about the growing interest of the Church in formation and abuse prevention. “What is needed above all is careful vigilance and far-sighted discernment with regard to the personal and vocational ‘history’ of each candidate. We need to move away from the idea of a seminary seen as a mere ‘structure’ that takes the person, almost automatically, to the final goal of ordination, to the awareness of being part of a formation community that offers an opportunity for personal accompaniment”, Mgr. Patrón Wong explained. Indeed, he added, “if disturbing signals or very compromising aspects emerge during the accompaniment, the candidates are expected to act with honesty and discontinue their journey. Should this not happen, then the educators are called to intervene in a strict and timely manner”. According to the Bishop, there is a need for a “sincere personal and communal vigilance, in addition to continuous assessment”. “The position of the Holy See is crystal clear in that the Church is concerned not so much and not only about the fact that her image may be tainted, but about making sure that nothing happens inside the Church that may wound her children, especially the most vulnerable”.

 

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