A new online “Center for Child Protection” was unveiled, at a recent four-day Vatican summit on the sexual abuse crisis. It is designed to educate priests, deacons, and other church personnel in fighting child abuse. According to German Deacon Hubert Liebhardt, its aim is “to promote a culture of vigilance in Catholic environments.”
The center has a budget of $1.6 million (to cover 3 years) and will provide on-line training and certification programs in a range of languages including German, English, Italian and Spanish. It’s a joint project of the University in Rome, the University of Ulm in Germany and the Munich archdiocese.
The online curriculum will be composed of roughly 30 hours of training, with topics ranging from detecting warning signs of abuse to reporting requirements in various countries. After examinations and other forms of assessment, church personnel who complete the training will receive a certificate.
The launch of the center formed the conclusion of the Vatican summit, titled “Towards Healing and Renewal.” It brought together more than 100 bishops and religious superiors from around the world to discuss the church’s response to the clergy abuse scandals.