Formation Seminar
On April 19-22, 2022, Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela conducted a formation seminar for its friars entitled: “The Culture of Good Relations with People and the Prevention of Abuse in the Church.” The seminar was led by the Provincial Custos, Friar Franklin A. DURÁN ZAMBRANO and took place at the Santíssima Trinidad Friary in Pueblo Llano, Mérida State, Venezuela.

The seminar speakers were Sister María Clara VIEIRA DINIZ, a member of the Congregación Siervas del Santísimo Sacramento [Congregation of the Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament]. Sister María holds a degree in psychology and a master’s degree in integrative humanistic psychotherapy; and Father Manuel LAGOS, a member of the of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart [Dehonians]. Father Manuel holds a degree in psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Several topics were discussed, including “Abuse in the Church,” which explored such issues as: pain; silence; false accusations; misunderstanding; the victim’s psychological and spiritual suffering caused by fear and guilt; concealment; imposition of silence; minimization of effects; and clericalism. The topic “The Dynamics of Abuse” explored the dynamics of abuse (sexual abuse or abuse of power), which involve an asymmetrical relationship that creates a situation of extreme fragility and vulnerability. Various types of abuse within this topic were identified, namely, abuse of power; abuse of conscience; sexual abuse; spiritual abuse; abuse in the workplace; intellectual abuse; emotional abuse and psychological abuse. The topic “Leadership in the Church” covered various forms of abuse of authority. The topic “The Personality” explored the existing boundaries between normality and psychopathology. The topic “Sexuality, Affectivity and Genitality,” explored how to more fully understand these concepts and live them in a healthier way. The topic “The Victims” covered various kinds of victims, including “false victims” who use manipulation in order to smear and defame and “true victims,” who typically manifest pain and disappointment from the outset, are restrained in saying what happened and often do not speak immediately. No contradictions are found in their stories. This topic also taught the way to approach victims and underscored the need to adopt attitudes of listening, empathy, respect, prudence and understanding.

Solemn Profession and Ordination to the Diaconate
On April 19, 2022, the first day of the seminar, Friar Daniel Enrique BUSTAMANTE GUERRERO made his solemn profession at the Santíssima Trinidad Church in Pueblo Llano. The Provincial Custos, Friar Franklin, presided.
In addition, on April 22, 2022, the last day of the seminar, Friars José Fernando PAREDES RIVERA, Miguel Ángel SALCEDO SALCEDO and Erwin Alexis RAMÍREZ ARAUJO were ordained to the diaconate by the imposition of the hands and consecratory prayer of the Most Reverend .Jesús Alfonso GUERRERO CONTRERAS, OFM Cap., Bishop of Barinas, Venezuela. The ordinations took place at the same Santíssima Trinidad Church in Pueblo Llano.

Friar Juan Gregorio MARTÍNEZ CANELÓN, Custodial Secretary