Speaking to those taking a course on the protection of minors, Pope Francis said an “apostalate of prevention” is needed to prevent abuse.

At the Pontifical University of Mexico, a group of vicars general of religious congregations and dioceses, seminary formators, and psychologists are taking a course on the protection of minors.

Organized by Father Daniel Portillo, the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Formation for the Protection of Minors, it runs from July 1st to the 26th.

In the middle of their third week learning methods to prevent the sexual abuse of minors, the Holy Father sent them a video message encouraging their efforts. He said it was important they were taking the course,

“so that no one – not a single person – abuse them, that no one might keep them from coming to Jesus. Any person – be they a religious, lay person, bishop, or any person – who prevents a child from coming to Jesus must be stopped in his attitudes, corrected if we are in time, or punished if there is a crime involved.”

Pope Francis drew a comparison with addiction, saying it takes an enormous effort to get beat an addiction, but prevention requires less effort.

Thus to prevent abuse, all must carry out an “apostolate of prevention because we never know where a child will be abused.”

Father Portilli commented on the video message from the Holy Father, saying

“If intervention does not go hand in hand with prevention things cannot work with the proper clarity needed to advance a safety code for the protection of our children.”

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