When certain abuse cases became known in 2010, the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany was affected and continues to be affected. It has since taken many measures to help those who have been impacted and to clarify the crimes committed by some friars.
In addition to looking at abuse in the past and dealing with it legally, it is important that the friars prevent any recurrence of sexual abuse or assault in the future. Thus, the Province regularly conducts training seminars on prevention. This year the Province organized two two-day seminars.
On July 3-4, 2022, the first seminar was held at the friary in Würzburg. The seminar was led by formators Ute BIRKEMEYER and Friedel KONIETZNY, who had conducted similar seminars for the Friars Minor and the Capuchins. They directed the confreres to first consider the issue of abuse from a biographical point of view: “Where have I encountered abuse in my life?” “How do these episodes relate to my religious life?”
Both speakers provided an overview of the psychosexual development of the human being and tried to define boundary violations. The case studies they offered served to make the friars aware of their own behavior. On several occasions, it became clear how power structures and a lack of mutual dialogue could create situations where friars can inflict abuse on people for a long time without being noticed.
The second seminar on prevention will be offered in October of 2022. By the end of the year, every friar must demonstrate that he has undertaken appropriate training at a Provincial or Diocesan seminar.
Frau Andreas MURK, Minister Provincial