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The Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons

The mission of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons is to help eliminate the threat and trauma of sexual abuse in society and in the Church by:

  • Promoting prevention through formation
  • Offering healing assistance to victims/survivors, their families, and their communities
  • Striving for justice
  • Contributing to reconciliation.

About the Director

Dr. Marie-Rose Tannous
Director - CPCS

The University has appointed Dr. Marie-Rose Tannous as the director of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons. She holds a PhD in Theology and a master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy. She is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Canon Law at Saint Paul University, and a registered psychotherapist by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

About Us

The Centre is the first of its kind established in a Catholic university in North America and was founded in 2019 by Dr. Karlijn Demasure. Her expertise in the field is internationally recognized. She is a member of many panels and consultative committees on sexual abuse, including a safeguarding board of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).


The Centre is interdisciplinary, reflecting the excellent research and close collaboration of Saint Paul University’s four faculties: Human Sciences, Philosophy, Theology, and Canon Law.

Call to Action

We believe that the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable persons is an urgent need today. We encourage all those who share our passion to support the Centre to ensure a sustainable, successful initiative and positive impact for minors and vulnerable persons.


Listening to a sexual abuse victim’s disclosure


The Centre offers customized educational and practical services. Services include:

  • Auditing and Consultation Services
    The Centre offers risk management assessment audits to enhance the safeguarding of both those who serve in, and are served by, religious institutions. It also offers canonical advisory services on all aspects of safeguarding protocols and practices.

  • Research
    The Centre facilitates interdisciplinary research on the systemic issues underlying the problem of sexual abuse in society and the Church. It focuses on themes such as secondary victims of abuse, vulnerable persons at risk in certain contexts (migrants and refugees, women religious, novices and seminarians), human trafficking, and incest.

  • Free Webinars 
    The hour-long workshops deal in subjects related to the Centre's mission. Learn more here.

  • Workshops
    The Centre offers a minimum of four workshops a year. These day-long workshops are intended for a broad audience. Learn more here.

  • Seminars
    The Centre offers a minimum of two seminars each year. These week-long seminars are intended for professional development for students and the general public. Learn more here.

  • International Conference
    The Centre organizes an international conference very two years.

Curious about our past events? You can find more information here.


Undergraduate Microprogram in Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons (15 credits) Learn more here.

Graduate Microprogram in Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons (9 credits) Learn more here.

See which courses will be offered in 2022-2023 here

International Outreach

It intends to build and to expand worldwide partnerships to promote safeguarding. Its international focus hopes to assist developing countries where civil law and best practices may not be concurrent with contemporary values related to the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable persons.

In addition to serving the National Capital Region, the Centre has global reach through distance-learning opportunities and offers a vast variety of services in English and French.


For more information, please contact us at 613-236-1393, ext. 2612, or by email at CPCS@ustpaul.ca.