Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: UC Theology invites a diploma focused on the prevention of abuse in ecclesial contexts

The different types of abuse, whether of a sexual nature, of authority and of conscience, have a strong and lasting impact on the physical and emotional well-being of the victims. That is why it is key to learn how to prevent them. This is how it becomes essential that professionals who carry out some formative work in ecclesial contexts, mainly those who are responsible for the care of others, are able to recognize signs of abuse at an early stage.

How to detect this type of situation? How to deal with them properly?

In response to the current ecclesial crisis, the U C Faculty of Theology , through its Continuing Education area , offers the diploma in Prevention of abuse and promotion of healthy environments in ecclesial contexts , which “was born as a joint effort with the Delegation for Truth and Peace of the Archbishopric of Santiago , as a concrete response to the dramatic and painful reality of abuse within the Catholic Church”, explains Francisco Ponce, in charge of Continuing Education at the Faculty of Theology.

This second version of the diploma course is open to the community for the first time. The first version was held in 2021 and had a closed call . 65 students from different vicars, zones, congregations and educational establishments participated. The invitation was made by the Delegation for Truth and Peace, among its work and prevention networks

Those who take this program will obtain the necessary tools to be able to identify the psychological and social foundations that must be at the base of a culture of respect and care for people.

In this line, the director of Linkage with the UC Theology Medium, Román Guridi, highlights that “this program has several peculiarities, for example, it is the first on this subject that is taught in Spanish, it is interdisciplinary and it takes charge of the report issued by the UC on abuses in ecclesiastical contexts . In this sense, in collaboration with the delegation for truth and peace of the Church of Santiago, it is a contribution of the UC to the necessary transformations that the Church requires”.

Those who take this program will obtain the necessary tools to be able to identify the psychological and social foundations that must be at the base of a culture of respect and care for people. They will also be able to differentiate situations that are functional to abuse (sexual, power and conscience), apply strategies that help detect signs for early intervention and create prevention plans at the local level.

“We have a team of high-level academics, who have dedicated themselves to understanding and addressing the issue of abuse” – Ángela Pérez, head of the program

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This diploma has the participation of prominent academics from different faculties of the Catholic University, among them: the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Law, and the UC Center for the Study and Promotion of Good Treatment. Professionals and invited teams from other institutions also participate, such as the Archbishopric of Santiago through the episcopal delegation for Truth and Peace, the National Council for the Prevention of Abuses of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, the Council for the Prevention of Abuses of CONFERRE and the Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation team, AMPIN-Chile.

“We have a team of high-level academics, who have dedicated themselves to understanding and addressing the issue of abuse, so they have a deep understanding of the issues and, therefore, the contribution is very valuable (…) it is a group of professionals, national and international, capable of offering good tools for what is intended in this diploma course“, emphasizes the head of the program Ángela Pérez.

This second version will be carried out in a one hundred percent online mode, with synchronous classes and will be certified by the Catholic University.

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