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Abuse: Sister Openibo (Society of the Holy Child Jesus), “we are all guilty”. We must “break the culture of silence”

It is time to “break the culture of silence and secrecy” on abuse. This is according to Sister Veronica Adeshola Openibo, Superior General of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and member of the executive board of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). Sister Openibo participated in the round table on listening to sexual abuse victims and on abuse of power and conscience, which characterised the morning of the second day of the Meeting of the Union of Superiors General underway in Ariccia. “We are all guilty”, said the nun, who attended the Summit on the Protection of Minors convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican in February. “We must be on the alert, keep our eyes and hearts open for dialogue, when we see something, say something and do something about it”, Sr. Openibo went on to say. “A chain of reporting must be put in place” and “we should respect the civil authority in this matter too”. “Let us acknowledge our vulnerability; be pro-active not reactive in combating the challenges facing the world of the young and the vulnerable, and continue to look fearlessly into other issues of abuse in the Church and in society”, the nun said, stressing that “the Church must do everything possible to protect its young and vulnerable members”. “The focus should not be on fear or disgrace, but rather on the Church’s mission to serve with integrity and justice”.

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