Religious sisters have launched a global movement to overhaul the way religious orders practise their “charism of care” for orphaned or abandoned children. Source: Crux.
The Rome-based International Union of Superiors General launched Catholic Care for Children International online on October 2, inviting all women’s and men’s religious orders to join the global initiative to end or reduce recourse to institutionalised child care and instead get children into safe and loving family- or community-based care.
This drastic shift, which took shape during a UISG meeting in early 2019, was inspired by a renewed reading of “the signs of the times”, according to the sisters and experts unveiling the new project online.
The signs ranged from the horrific abuse of minors in religious-run institutes to Pope Francis’ hope-filled call for creative multidisciplinary solutions to problems, and from a biblical mandate to care for the least to the latest discoveries and best practices in the social sciences.
But a key moment underpinning the new sister-led initiative was a historic move by the United Nations General Assembly last December.
On the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 193 member states unanimously adopted a resolution that recognises orphanages actually harm children and must be replaced with high-quality family- or community-based care.
Loreto Sister Patricia Murray, secretary of the UISG, said the work will be demanding and will require a lot of formation.
The Catholic Church oversees at least 9,000 orphanages worldwide, serving almost five million children, she said. “This is an enormous responsibility.”
Caring for children: Religious sisters launch global push for reform (By Carol Glatz, Crux)