Conference Report 2018

The Conference was facilitated by James Leachman, Lea Misan and Milan Bijelič.
Our Conference goals were to build bonds of trust and hope between people of all kinds who are working to become more aware of the different voices of oppression that we meet in society, our communities and in ourselves. This conference aimed to provide a space to connect and share learning around how systems like our families, churches and school might prevent, stop or take responsibility for child abuse.  

post Conference report

– The sense of loss was palpable during the Conference and this has stayed with many of us. There is a grieving that we share. Some victims who attended the Conference have expressed the importance of being heard by members of the Clergy. 

– We appreciate our need to support the individual as much as the institution. The feelings, the hesitations, the dreams of the individual are as important as the institution. Indeed, the institution is made up of individuals who we can’t lose sight of. 

– We learned the need for going slow in the maelstrom of inquiries, Investigations, media onslaught etc… Accountability from inside the Church to outside, secular powers and roles such as the external observer (the Media) and the judging role ( Investigations and legal inquiries) as well as internal restructurings of safeguarding and trainings within the Church, take their toll on individuals caught in the maelstrom. We need to look after the people who take on these challenging roles. We need to go slow, to find the centre of the maelstrom and bring transparency to our feelings and actions. 

There was a felt desire to continue the work. A follow up newsletter and report are planned from the feedback from participants.

Location, 94 participants were present in Ealing Abbey Hall. We arrived from different parts of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium. Several survivors of church sexual abuse attended. Four members of Ealing Abbey community were present. Two other members from Worth and Downside Abbeys of the English Benedictine Congregation were present, twenty or so religious women and men, therapists and psychology students.

Morning Programme:
Welcome: Rt Rev Martin Shipperlee OSB, abbot of Ealing
Keynote speaker: Prof. Fr Hans Zollner S.J. is one of the leading experts on matters of safeguarding of minors and prevention of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Academic Vice-Rector, Dean of the Institute of Psychology and President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and was appointed Consultor of the Congregation for the Clergy in April 2017 by Pope Francis.
Goldfish bowl, Fr Zollner, Abbot Martin, Lea Misan, ???


Afternoon Programme:
World cafe: we greatly valued the involvement of RSPOPUK students as World Cafe facilitators and Heart Team. The small facilitated groups provided opportunities to build trust and grow in connectedness.

2 June 2019 James Leachman and Lea Misan