By Bishop Mark Hagemoen
My summer season in the Saskatoon Diocese continues to feature meeting diocesan and community groups, visiting parishes, and attending special summer devotional celebrations. It was also a time to enjoy many of the youth and community activities typical of summer time, including youth and family programs. I continue to be amazed by the great faith and zeal of the people of the Diocese of Saskatoon. Evidence of the missionary apostolate of the laity abound!
Anglophone SAFEGUARDING CONFERENCE
Vatican, June 17-22, 2018
Deacon Rennie Nahanee of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and I represented the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at this year’s conference at the Vatican, which aims to develop awareness and best practices for Catholic dioceses and organizations regarding ‘safeguaurding’ in relation to all ministries and activities run by Catholic organizations. The aim of the conference is to improve all protocols in ensure the safety of young people and of vulnerable adults. Deacon Nahanee and I were chosen in our capacity as co-chairs of the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Commission. I believe it is hoped by the CCCB that our experience at the conference may provide us with further insights as we continue to repond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission here in Canada.
The format of the conference featured opportunities for conference members to respond to presentations given their own diocesan-regional context. Discussion groups also facilitated follow-up and discussion on related topics.
The quality of the presentations was very good, and provided insights regarding issues and possible areas for development in diocesan policies and pastoral practices.
Some of the insights and learnings included the following:
Safeguarding of children is becoming an increasingly complex and urgent issue, especially due to the expansion of technology;
The expansion of human trafficking and pornography industry is greatly impacting the safety of children and young people;
Church culture and the challenges for effective safeguarding;
Implementing and overseeing consistent ‘best practices’ among various diocesan and religious entities.