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  • Abigail Seta

Training for Right Relationships in Ministry’s Regional Assessors

Port Moresby: A two-day training focused on dealing with cases of abuse and misconduct in the catholic church was held to induct and train assessors.

Coordinated by the Right Relationships (RR) in Ministry Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference, the training was held from 14th to 15th December and had 13 representatives from the different dioceses in the four Regions of PNG.

Present to facilitate the trainings were Bishop of Daru-Kiunga and Bishop Deputy for Right Relationships in Ministry Most Rev. Gilles Côtè SMM, Bishop of Lae, Most Rev. Rozario Menezes SMM, Right Relationships in Ministry Secretary, Sr Ancy John SCSA, CBC Lawyer Mr. Paul Harricknen, Deputy Executive Director of PNG Centre for Judicial Excellence, Mr. Sam Kaipu and Lawyer, Ms. Esther Igo.

According to facilitator, Esther Igo, assessors are called on by the RR Director when a case of abuse or misconduct occurs in the church and need an in-depth investigation.

“The assessor goes out and further investigates the case to fully assess and get more evidence and get a whole report,” she explained.

The sessions were based on the Right Relationship protocols and processes and best practices to follow. It also focused on the experiences of current assessors and role plays on possible cases and how to assess them.

Child Protection officer from the Archdiocese of Madang, Scholastica Bogg, was grateful to have been a part of the training especially with being informed about the role of the contact persons and assessors.

“This has helped me as a Child Protection officer to become aware and raise awareness for the public to be informed and educated to some extent to make informed decisions which may help guide them,” she stated.

Whereas Sr Cristi Banas from the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen spoke on compassion. “The role of the assessors in dealing with cases of abuse of minors and sexual misconduct brings me to a deeper understanding of compassion both on the victim and the accused. To be attentive to every detail and gestures to find the truth. To be neutral and to listen to the word unspoken. To bring back the image of Christ to the victim and the accused.”

The training was a success and concluded with a prayer service of commissioning and blessing of the assessors.

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