By Linda Bordoni
The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome has for many years been at the forefront in providing highly specialized formation and resources in the effort to promote and strengthen the Church’s commitment to eradicate the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable people.
Founded in 2012 as part of the University’s Institute of Psychology, the Centre for Child Protection (CCP) provides top-class and universally-acclaimed lectures, activities, seminars and courses focusing on prevention, intervention, safeguarding, care and healing of victim-survivors.
Anthropology, Human Dignity, Care
In a move to further develop its commitment and broaden its reach, the CCP is to be transformed into “The Institute of Anthropology. Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care" (IADC) as from 1 September 2021.
According to a just-released press statement, the Congregation for Catholic Education has approved this transformation which “will allow the Centre to expand its scope, to award academic degrees, and to develop its own academic faculty.”
The statement notes that the IADC will continue and expand on the CCP’s current contribution to the academic community, focusing specifically on Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care.
Collective and integrated approach
From the beginning the CCP chose an approach based on a collective, philosophical, theological, and psychological theoretical proposal for the integration of the anthropological perspectives. Through the years it developed, broadening its learning programme, including new discussions and widening its focus within the broader concept of human dignity.
“Growing demand for CCP programmes and requests for its involvement in local and international academic and formative events attest to the fact that the CCP has become a leading authority in its area of expertise. This recognition requires a different institutional and academic approach that exceeds the capacity of a center,” the statement reads.
Thus, the academic discipline of Anthropology, with its variety of sub-disciplines, will allow for growth and expansion and strengthen its capacity to promote the effective care and protection of every person – primarily children, who are the most vulnerable.
“Contemporary anthropological inquiry" the statement continues, "requires an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach. A consequence of an interdisciplinary approach is the exponential aggregation of knowledge derived from individual sciences and their consequent specialization which thus fosters a multidimensional scientific exploration of human dignity.”
The Rector's commitment
In a message, the Rector of the University, Fr. Nuno da Silva Gonçalves SJ, noted that “With this decision, our University reiterates and intensifies its commitment to the work of protecting minors and vulnerable people and supporting safe environments which promote respect for human dignity. At the same time, this conversion will deepen the interdisciplinary dimension of education and research, recognized by all as fundamental to addressing issues surrounding abuse and its prevention.”