(2018.2.22 Tablet  Christopher Lamb in Rome)


 教皇への助言機関、Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minorsの委員に新しく選ばれたシスター・ジェーン・バーテルセンはTabletのインタビューで「このような文化は何世紀も続いてきたが、現教皇はそれを改めようと努めておられます」とし、「私たちは信頼を回復しなければなりません。信頼は壊れてしまっている。真実を追求し、同情をもって耳を傾け、出来ることは何でもして、信頼回復の努力を続ける必要があります」と強調した。


 英国人のシスターとして、彼女は児童保護に長い経験を持ち、教会の性的虐待への対応に関するLord Nolan2001年報告を受けたイングラントとウエールズの教会の指針-全世界のカトリック教会で最も強力な児童保護のルールと評価されている-の作成に協力した実績がある。

 Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhoodの長であり、英サウスワーク大司教区の児童保護機関のメンバーである彼女は、オーストラリアでの性的虐待問題への対応にも関わり、アフリカにおける児童保護基準の案文作成にも協力している。







What do you see now as the major challenges facing the Church in its response to the sexual abuse scandal? 

The first thing that comes to mind is that we are all the Church. Sometimes its convenient to think that on some issues it’s just the Pope and the bishops, but we have to remember it’s us as well and we all have a part to play.

The second is that the challenge is continuing the work that has been done to change that deep-seated culture in the Church that lacked accountability, transparency and collaboration. It’s a culture that has been around for centuries. Pope Francis has made great attempts at changing that but he is one person. We’ve all got to keep that conversation going.

We have to restore credibility. Trust has been broken. And we have got to keep trying to restore that credibility, with truth-seeking, compassionate listening and in whatever way we can.

And while I’m not in anyway pushing bad news under the carpet – that’s often the trigger for dealing with problems – but we also have to get the good news stories out. And look for them. It’s not to cover up the bad news, but to give people hope.

Pope Francis has faced criticism recently in his handing of abuse in the case of Bishop Juan Barros in Chile. What is your response? 

My response, as it has been for the last 20 years, is to play my part in continuing the conversation and the dialogue, to deepen our response to the call to those who are hurt and damaged. I’m not here to make judgments or to to look back, but I want to offer what I can in the future.

Is there now an argument for a more centralised approach by the Church when it comes to dealing with the global phenomenon of abuse? 

Speaking from my own experience as a leader of an international missionary congregation, I know our sisters look to us as a leadership team for guidance and support in authentically living our charism and we have to provide it. Then we facilitate their expression of it  in their culture and their situation and as they see it on the ground.

So it’s viewing it through different lenses. To both give the support and guidance, but also facilitate the best approach for those on the ground. I think my experience here parallels with the Church in a small way.

Some argue there must be mandatory reporting of abuse across the Church. But this is difficult in countries without a functioning legal or justice system. You’ve been involved in safeguarding in Africa, what’s your assessment? 

That’s where the cultural context has to be taken into consideration. When we were first working on guidelines in Africa [Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe] the first step from a /European perspective maybe to report abuse but in some countries there was just not the infrastructure to do this safely.

We also found when we were trying to write standardised guidelines across countries we realised how difficult this was as structures we might take for granted e.g. a safeguarding unit or policing concerned with children just did not exist

So I’m delighted the commission is so global as the cultural context is imperative. And if we actually understood the issue, then we’d know how to respond in every part of the world. We are still on that journey.

Do you think the clerical abuse scandal would have been handled better had more women, including religious sisters, been involved in responding to the crisis?  

You better ask the Holy Spirit that one! I just don’t know. I know women have a particular contribution to make, and I’ve experienced that in both Australia and UK.

I’m delighted there is an equal number of men and women on the commission and I have worked with wonderful men and women in safeguarding and we all bring different gifts to the table.

(Tabletはイギリスのイエズス会が発行する世界的権威のカトリック誌です。「カトリック・あい」は許可を得て翻訳、掲載しています。 “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly. Reproduced with permission of the Publisher”   The Tablet ‘s website address http://www.thetablet.co.uk)