mons. Želimir Puljić
Archbishop of Zadar,
President of the Croatian Bishops’Conference

Second European Conference Formation and Prevention – Power as Service

From the invitation letter of mons. Želimir Puljić, Archbishop of Zadar, President of Croatian Bishops’ Conference

The devoted service of many priests and religious is nowadays a living sign of Christ’s presence among us and in us, and it raises hope in many belivers. Unfortunately, we witness that this service could be exploited and abused as supremacy over others and as using other persons for one’s own purposes, which is manifested in sexual abuse as well as other forms of power abuse.
In abusive interpersonal relationships, childern, young people, vulnerable adults and other belivers become objects of plesure instead of being people who meet with the living God trought priests, religious and nuns.
The Croatian Bishops’Conference and Cahtolic University of Croatia are therefore organizing a conference on the topic with the support of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Zagreb, the Congregation for the clergy, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, and the Center of Child Protection of Pontifical Gregorian University.
Ath the conference, we will reflect, discuss, exchange experiences, listen and learn how to evaluate the power of service in the Catholic Church as an extremely valuable, Christ-like manner of interpersonal behavior.
This aims at being an occasion for focalizing attention on the importance of human formation during the courses of the initial and permanent preparation of the clergy and religious and for learning about the different scientific approaches and practices for an assessment/screeining, close attention and intervention inside diocesan seminaries and institutions responsible for the formation of religious.