Cash investigation on sexual abuse of minors: and so what?

A few years ago Cash Investigation was investigating on the manufacture of mobile phones by miners. Journalists knew that Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft and Appel and others were illegally using minors to procure strategic metals such as to mount smartphones in the factories. As usual, those responsible, aware of this illegality but able to surround themselves with protection systems, fled any interview and denied the obvious. Above all, the shareholder’s profit should not be reduced in the areas of work ethics or children’s rights, especially when it happens abroad. Thanks to the tenacity of the journalists, the demonstration was made. For those of us who work in areas deeply contaminated by child slavery in the African Great Lakes countries, this success has been greatly appreciated. Certainly, watching the show, we realized the methods of these journalists. But why are they called “investigative journalists”? …

Read the article of Bernard Ugeux, M.Afr., IN FRENCH ONLY (apologies) on his blog :

http://www.lavie.fr/blog/bernard-ugeux/cash-investigation-sur-l-abus-sexuel-de-mineurs-et-alors,4854

Session on Integrity of Ministry in Abidjan

During the second half of March (2017), our confrere, Stéphane Joulain, gave two sessions and a series of lectures on the subjects of the Protection of Minors and the Integrity of the Ministry in Abidjan. Within the framework of the Catholic Missionary Institute of Abidjan (ICMA), he gave two sessions of one-week, the first to the Missionary School of Action and Development (EMAD), and the second for students in the fourth year of theology. These two sessions were organized in connection with the Center for the Protection of Children (CCP) of the Gregorian University. It was two great experiences, which stimulated reflection and increased the determination of our future missionaries. A question remained very much with them at the end of the session: “Why the silence of the churches on this subject. And some did not hesitate to ask that the whole Church could be formed on this question: priests, bishops, religious, laity. They also testified and shared about the presence of abuse in Africa in families and institutions. Their sharing of experiences was of great richness. It was possible to observe the excellence of the training given to the ICMA and the human and spiritual maturity of those who will soon ensure the proclamation of the Good News. In addition to these two weeks of training, Stéphane Joulain gave twice two lectures of two-hour to the students of the Society of African Missions (SMA) and also to the students of the Society of Missionaries of Africa in Fraternité Lavigerie. These conferences dealt with the Integrity of the Ministry, but also addressed more current issues such as the place of the Internet and the problem of pornography and the management of sexuality for a consecrated person.

A big thank you to all those who ensure the formation of our confreres, and a big thank you for the quality of welcome of the community of the Fraternité Lavigerie.

Click on the photo to see the diaporama

Messe à la Fraternité Lavigerie
Messe à la Fraternité Lavigerie
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TV Program of “Cash Investigation” (French TV) on Pedophilia in the Church

This investigation program presents a difficult situation at the heart of the Church’s life, the issue of sexual abuse and the exfiltration of priests to mission territories. This show is of a rather “tonic” style, which some might call “aggressive.” But, despite certain inaccuracies and sometimes exaggerations, this program remains a good work of investigation on a problematic for which the Church too often refuses to communicate, this is what this program reveals quite clearly. I participated in this show due to my expertise on the subject, but it does not mean that I endorse all the techniques employed by the team of Cash Investigation. On the other hand, I am grateful to them for alerting the French public in particular on these situations. It is interesting to note  that, since the show, one sees in the French press that, here and there, a priest is “charged”, “signaled”, “denounced”, and so on. When a system refuses to move forward on such an issue, levers external to the system are sometimes necessary; such a broadcast can play that leverage role. 

Stéphane Joulain, M.Afr., Ph. D.

Note that this program is in French.

Fr. Stéphane Joulain : Bishop to account on their fight against pedophily. (La Croix)

Father Stéphane Joulain, a white father psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of sexual abuse, has followed nearly 200 pedophiles in therapy and gives many education and prevention training courses in different countries. In his view, the Church needs to establish control bodies and work closely with victims if it truly wants to establish a culture of combating pedophilia.

Read the article IN FRENCH ONLY on the website of the Newspaper La Croix

Integrity of ministry : Session of Ouagadougou

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 17 members of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) met from 30 January to 10 February 2017 for a training session in French on the protection of vulnerable children and adults. The participants were the delegates of our missionary society from all over Africa and Latin America. They work in their country of mission to ensure that places of mission (parishes, pastoral centers, missionary projects, training centers, etc.) are safe places for vulnerable children and adults. Some confreres involved in formation and some in responsibility of governance joined the meeting. The training was organized in the framework of the partnership signed by the Center for the Protection of Children (CCP) of the Gregorian University and the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr.). The training is co-facilitated by Stéphane Joulain and Bernard Ugeux, members of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and Sr. Mary Lembo, CSC, member of the PAC in Rome. An identical training in English had already taken place in July 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Testimony of Musangu Betu Sylvain

When I was chosen to represent Mali in this training, I was very curious to know the content. I am one of those who think that the Society is doing a little too much. While I was aware of the immorality of sexual abuse of minors, I wondered why the confreres should be prosecuted for an act committed 20 to 30 years ago. Why condemn only the priests and where is the responsibility of the alleged victims? Several questions of this kind in favor of the abusive priests trotted in my brain. Another colleague told me, “You go to that training and then you will be hunting for the confreres.” I think it was appropriate to organize this training for the Delegates to the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults so that they are able to answer the questions of the confreres wisely. Many confreres do not sufficiently master this problem and the position of society about it.

The presentations, the different readings, the studied cases and the sharing in groups opened my mind to understanding the scope of the problem. Grand was my astonishment to notice the complexity and severity of the subject. Now I am convinced that abusing a minor is a miserable thing to do to a child. Many are unaware of the consequences of the abuse and the trauma it generates if the victim is not treated in time or if he does not have the capacity to resilience. A training like this helps to understand why some victims, after so many years, are asking for justice to be done. One can not remain indifferent to this tragedy. The only legitimate feeling for the victim is compassion and the search for restoration. So I understood why the trainers kept reminding us that our main mission was to “protect minors and vulnerable people”. This task is not only the responsibility of the Child Protection Delegates, but of every pastor who loves justice, his neighbor and the respect for the dignity of the human person. Jesus our master, seeing the injustices in his society, took the preferential option for the weaker. The weakest in our society must find the shadow of protection among us pastors. It is more than urgent to commit ourselves at the pastoral and spiritual level to eradicating this scourge that is plaguing our Church and our living environments.

Musangu Betu Sylvain, M.Afr.

To nobody’s children …

All he would have to do
Would be to call me
To call me
Where does my life come from
Certainly not from the sky

Telling him about my childhood
His absence
Every day
How can I break this silence
Surrounding him?

As true as I talk to him from afar
I am learning to cut my teeth on my own
As true as I can’t stop thinking of it
If only he could be missing me
Will he get in touch with me
Lack of love is no crime
I have but one request to him
If only he could be missing me

I’d just tell you
That apart from that Everything’s fine
Apart from a father, I don’t need anything
I live in another world
Every day I am holding on
I’ll break this silence that surrounds me

As true as I talk to him from afar
I am learning to cut my teeth on my own
As true as I can’t stop thinking of it
If only he could be missing me
Will he get in touch with me
Lacking a father is no crime
I have but one request to him
If only he could be missing me

Will he get in touch with me
Lacking a father is no crime
I have but one request to him
If only he could be missing me