Fr Hans Zollner SJ, one of the Church's leading experts on sexual abuse, will give two presentations in Sydney on the abuse crisis. Source: Wollongong Diocese.
Wollongong and Parramatta Dioceses will co-host the presentations by Fr Zollner, widely recognised as one of the leading experts in the field of safeguarding of minors and on areas concerning sexual abuse in the Church and beyond.
The Creating a Safe Church from Within event in Campbelltown will address the impact of the abuse crisis on survivors and Church members.
Over two days, Fr Zollner will explore why and how the Church needs to change to survive, flourish and be the safest place for the most vulnerable. Both days will feature audience participation and interactive workshops.
Fr Zollner, a German theologian and psychologist, has been a member of Pope Francis’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since 2014 and is head of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Gregorian) in Rome.
When asked what attendees can expect to hear at one of his presentations, Fr Zollner said, “I would like to share my experience, observations and reflections on how the Church faces this scourge of abuse, and what is being done in terms of safeguarding. I will [also] underline the ‘forgotten dimension’, the theological and spiritual implications of abuse.”
The first presentation will be held on August 31 and is aimed at Church personnel including safeguarding professionals, school principals, teaching staff, social welfare leaders and staff, clergy, religious, and other employees and volunteers.
The second presentation, on September 1 2018, will be directed at survivors of abuse, their family, friends, and advocacy and support groups together with members from faith communities.
The proceeds from Day One registration costs will be utilised in a “pay-it-forward” scheme to ensure those on Day Two can attend free-of-charge.