GUINEA BISSAU: Religious Hold Seminar on Sexual Abuse of Minors

BISSAU, MAY 28, 2019 (CISA)-Men and women religious of the Catholic Dioceses of Bissau and Bafatá, on May 21 held a seminar in Bissau to discuss the laws on sexual abuse of minors in the light of the laws of Guinea Bissau and of the Canon Law.

One of the main presenters was Fr Francelino Nhaga who holds a licentiate in Canon Law and Civil Law and professor of Canon Law at the major seminary of Bissau.

“In the event of confirmation of the crime, the Church provides for harsh sanctions against the clergy who sexually abuses the child,” explained Fr Nhaga, expounding on the laws instituted by Pope Francis earlier in May to guide the Church on how to handle sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable people.

According to FIDES, the seminar was organized by the Conference for Consecrated Life and Society of Apostolic Life of Guinea Bissau (COVICGB) and attended by about 100 men and women religious.

Sr Silvia Mendonza, deputy secretary of COVICGB, underlined the importance of consecrated people staying conscious of their vows.

“God has called us for a service within the Church, He has called us to consecrate our whole life and our body to Jesus, because if we consecrate ourselves to God we will not feel the need to think of other things,” she said.

The conference follows Pope Francis’ meeting with the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences around the world, at the Vatican in February in which he asked Bishops to take the necessary measures to prevent child abuse in the Catholic Church.