Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.
Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God, 20 August 2018
The 2019 General Chapter
of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
during its 25th Session approved the following
Provision for the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults
Safeguarding people means protecting them from danger. It also means promoting and showing appreciation for right behaviour and for the value of each human person. The starting point for a Carmelite approach to the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults is the need of “a continuous and profound conversion of hearts, attested by concrete and effective actions…” Vos Estis Lux Mundi, 2).
- Considering the duty, the responsibility and the need of protecting the rights of minors and vulnerable adults;
- in accordance with canons 1395 § 2, 1717, 1722, 695 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law;
- in accordance with article 6 of the motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, of 30th April 2001, of the motu proprio Normae de gravioribus delictis, of 21st May 2010, of the motu proprio “Come una Madre Amorevole”, of 4th June 2016, of the motu proprio Vos Estis Lux Mundi, of 7th May 2019, and of the rescript art.1, modifying art.6 § 1, 2º of Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, of 17th December 2019;
- in accordance with articles 228 and 229 of the Constitutions of our Order;
It is decreed that:
a) The Carmelite Order undertakes to create and maintain a safe environment for its members and all those working with the Order.
b) By safe environment is meant an environment that is devoid of any form of physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal abuse.
c) The Order gives particular attention to creating such a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults.
d) The whole Order undertakes to follow the best behavioural practices and guidelines wherever it operates in order to provide a safe environment and protection.
e) All the provinces, commissariats and delegations must develop behavioural and practice guidelines in accordance with civil and ecclesiastical norms. These policies should be sent to the General Council.
f) All friars, including superiors, must obey civil and ecclesiastical laws and norms that are binding in the places where they live and operate. These include laws and norms relating to reporting accusations.
g) The Order undertakes to guarantee that those who declare to be victims of abuse, and their families, are treated with dignity and respect, and are welcomed, listened to and supported.
h) The reputation and privacy of all those involved, as well as discretion regarding their personal data, should be protected.
i) The General Council and Provincial and Commissarial Councils will review periodically their practice regarding safeguarding and revise it in accordance with changes in civil and ecclesiastical laws.