SENEGAL: A formation session, aiming at creating awareness of the issues relating to the protection of minors and vulnerable people and the promotion of the dignity of the priestly ministry, was held at the Blessed Mario Borzaga prenovitiate in Senegal on May 20th, 2022. The session was animated by Oblate Frs. Constant Kienge Kienge and Thomas Bang.
Fr. Constant Kienge Kienge, OMI
Sexual abuse is becoming more and more recurrent in our society, especially in the Church. This phenomenon concerns also men and women who have fully committed themselves to live in chastity and fidelity to the Lord. Unfortunately, this tendency to want to animate one’s sexual impulses is done without taking into account the impact it will have in the lives of vulnerable people, who find themselves as victims of the inappropriate acts of adults who are incapable of mastering and managing their affections in a balanced way.
Therefore, as young people in formation, the session on paedo-criminality that we attended was very enriching insofar as it helped us to become more aware of the damaging realities of today’s sexual crimes against children and vulnerable people. Through this formation session, which we hope will be held every year in our houses of formation, we feel that we have not only been alerted to the consequences of sexual perversity towards minors but also to the damage caused by sexual abuse in general. This awareness prompts us to introspection and self-knowledge in order to better deal with this scourge, which has led the Church to be attacked from all sides and compromising the dignity and the identity of the priesthood.
Furthermore, this formation was for us an awareness-raising exercise insofar as we are called to work with young people in our future missions. So, it is important that we have a full knowledge of the relationship that must exist between the pastor and his faithful. For one who claims to be a shepherd of God’s flock, is supposed to bring joy to the hearts of all, and not to turn around and destroy the lives of minors and the vulnerable.
Finally, this formation on paedo-criminality, far from being a means for us to enter into this dynamic of mistrust towards our future parishioners, calls us to become aware of the quality of our future priestly ministry; in adherence of liturgical elegance and in the closeness to God’s flock that is in such need of spiritual nourishment on a daily basis.