Bishops follow up

The German Bishops' Conference on Tuesday published a handout on the "Prevention of sexualized violence in the area of youth pastoral care". It is intended to supplement the "Framework for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Minors in the Area of the German Bishops' Conference," which was adopted in September 2010.

"The new handout represents a counterpart to the already published handout of Catholic schools, boarding schools and kindergartens. It thus embodies a further concretization of the framework order Prevention of the German Bishops' Conference," said Bishop Ackermann, commissioner of the German Bishops' Conference for questions of sexual abuse of minors in the church sector.

Auxiliary Bishop Dr. Bernhard Hablberger, acting chairman of the Youth Commission, emphasizes in the foreword of the brochure that the handout is intended to contribute to "countering every form of sexualized violence in a level-headed, decisive and courageous manner and thus to give girls and boys as well as young women and men a protected space within the church for their development." In addition to church experts, non-church victim associations such as "Zartbitter e.V.", "Innocence in danger" and the "Society for Prevention and Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect (DGfPI)" cooperated. The handout identifies five central cornerstones of preventive action in youth ministry. This includes an "appropriate relationship of closeness and distance," "clear rules and transparent structures," as well as "sexual pedagogical support," "cooperation with parents," and "a clear understanding of the situation. Educators" and "education and training measures". The annex to the booklet also contains the Prevention Framework, the Guidelines and two examples of self-commitment statements.

In the Catholic youth associations and youth organizations are about 660.000 young people organized and involved. In addition, there are other fields of youth ministry such as altar boy work, children's and youth choirs, and the youth work of religious congregations and spiritual movements. Here, too, more than 500.000 girls and boys as well as young women and men engaged.

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