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Wondering what we have been up to since the opening of the centre? You have come to the right place! Here is an overview of the events that have been held so far:

On February 12, we held our first workshop, given by Prof. Karlijn Demasure, director of the centre, on "Incest: What Can the Church Do?" The workshop explored the definition of incest and how it affects the victims of such acts, as well as the role the Church could play in these situations to help the victim. Although a difficult subject, the presentation helped the participants understand something that is often considered taboo in our societies. 

Then, on March 6, Prof. Judith Malette gave a workshop on "Compassion and Self-Compassion: Two Essential Components in the Journey with Others". Focusing on compassion fatigue and how to prevent it, Prof. Malette presented tools that participants could use later. This very informative and practical workshop focused on taking care of oneself to be able to care for others.

As some of you may be aware, we had a seminar with Prof. Mariéle Wulf scheduled from March 16 to 20 on "Trauma in the Context of Abuse", which unfortunately had to be postponed. Although it was a difficult decision to make, the outbreak and subsequent worldwide spread of COVID-19 made us reconsider holding the seminar. With our community’s health in mind, we decided to hold it at a later date this year. Please stay tuned for more news about this event!

Regardless of the virus outbreak, we regrouped and decided to hold the next workshop online, thus respecting the physical distancing and quarantine measures taken by both the Ontario government and Saint Paul University.

We held our first online-only workshop on March 27, with Prof. Valère Nkouaya Mbandji speaking about "Pope Francis and the Sexual Abuse Crisis". In exploring the pope’s response to the crisis through the understanding of the zero-tolerance policy put in place, participants gained a deeper understanding of the measures the Church has taken. Canon law reforms were also discussed; these reinforce the efforts the Church has made to face this crisis.

On April 17, we had the pleasure of hosting virtually Prof. Karlijn Demasure and Prof. John Renken for their workshop on "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church". The workshop discussed the Church's response to the sexual abuse crisis and the steps that have since been taken to address it. The subject of sexual abuse more generally was touched upon as well, to further the participants' understanding of the problematic as a whole, with a focus on perpetrators within the Church. We had great attendance and participation, making this workshop all the better! 

Shortly after, we welcomed back Prof. John Renken for a 4-day seminar on "Penal Law and Jurisprudence". The participants had the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the penal law system in place, in relation to sexual abuse within the Church, guided by the expertise of our presenter. Case studies were used to demonstrate the use of the law and jurisprudence in dioceses and dicastries of the Holy See, painting a vivid picture of the justice system and process. 

Last, but certainly not least, Prof. Valère Nkouaya Mbandji joined us again for a 3-day seminar on "Safeguarding and the Particular Churches". The focus of this seminar was to demystify the protocols for safeguarding put in place for churches around the world. By examining the responses, we are able to determine where work needs to be done. 

Our events for 2021–2022 are now done; keep an eye out for our upcoming schedule of events for 2022–2023!

You can find more information on our upcoming events here.