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Diocese of GalwayKilmacduagh & Kilfenora

Deoise na GaillimheChill Mac Duach & Chill Fhionnúrach

NBSCCCI: Theology of Safeguarding

Published on 25/01/2021

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) has launched a video series on the theology of safeguarding.

Every month for nine months from January 2021, the NBSCCCI will place a short video on some aspect of the theology of safeguarding on their webpage. Nine new videos have been commissioned from theologians, scripture scholars, and ethicists who live and work in Ireland, Italy, and the United States. In 2022 the National Board will host a national conference on the theme 'Towards a Theology of Safeguarding', at which the questions posed by the video contributors will be addressed.

September video: Justin Humphreys is married with three adult children and lives in southwest England. He is Chief Executive (Safeguarding) at thirtyone:eight, the leading independent Christian safeguarding charity in the UK. With a background in social work and church leadership, he has spent the past 25 years working in a variety of contexts and settings with vulnerable groups. He is a passionate advocate for justice and has dedicated his working life to the pursuit of protecting vulnerable people. He is a 'learning leader' committed to exploring and practicing authentic and just leadership. Justin is also Honorary Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Chester, the current Chair of the Christian Forum for Safeguarding (a national body of leading safeguarding professionals from across the Christian denominations in the UK), and founder/initiator of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Safeguarding in Faith Communities. He holds an MSc in Child Protection and Strategic Management and a BSc(Hons) in Social Work Studies.

August video: Dr Marcia Bunge is Professor of Religion and the Bernhardson Distinguished Chair at Gustavus Adolphus College (Minnesota, USA) and Extraordinary Research Professor at North-West University (South Africa). She received her PhD in theology from the University of Chicago. 
Her current area of research is perspectives on children and childhood in world religions. She has published five volumes on the subject, including The Child in Christian Thought (Eerdmans, 2001), and The Child in the Bible (Eerdmans, 2008). Her forthcoming book, Child Theology: Diverse Methods and Global Perspectives (Orbis Books, Autumn 2021), brings together Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians from around the world to re-examine central Christian doctrines and practices with attention to children. As a theologian, scholar, and child advocate, Bunge is engaged in several ecumenical and inter-religious academic projects and advocacy efforts devoted to children and child well-being. She regularly speaks about her work in the United States and abroad and has participated in child-focused conferences and consultations on six continents.


July video: Fr Jim Corkery is an Irish Jesuit who taught systematic theology at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin for more than twenty years. In 2014 he moved to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he is a Professor in the Departments of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology and was also, until 2020, active in the St Peter Favre Centre for Formators to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Among his current areas of research/writing are the following: contemporary approaches to the resurrection; the theologies of Joseph Ratzinger, Karl Rahner, Avery Dulles and Elizabeth Johnson; the social and cultural dimensions of grace; the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council; and the attempt to re-think the theology of salvation in the light of the clerical sexual abuse crisis. He is also interested in Jesuit spirituality and history and is one of the associate editors of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits (2017).


June video: Jessie Rogers lectures in Sacred Scripture and is Dean of Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. She specialises in Old Testament Wisdom Literature. Originally from South Africa where she taught at a number of institutions including Cornerstone Christian College and the University of Stellenbosch, Jessie came to Ireland in 2007. She was a member of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, before coming to the Pontifical University in 2014. Jessie is a member of Godly Play International’s College of Trainers and founding member of Godly Play Ireland. Her most recent publication is an article on Rahner and the Theology of Childhood in the Irish Theological Quarterly.

May's video is from Una Allen, coordinator of Towards Peace, the spiritual support service set up by the Irish Church in 2014 in response to a request from survivors of abuse by Church personnel. Una has an interdisciplinary background including social science, spiritual direction and a Masters in Pastoral Theology. She worked for thirty years with the Probation Service in Dublin and Galway. While her work brought her into contact with those who perpetrated sexual abuse, her experiences also taught her about the physical, psychological and social consequences of abuse – for abuse survivors, their families, and their communities. She continued her involvement in this area with Athru, a multidisciplinary agency attached to Health Service Executive, working with young people who exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviour.  A spiritual companion and retreat giver, Una has taught on the Diploma in Spiritual Direction course at the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality and Culture in Galway and in Manresa Spirituality Centre in Dublin.


April's video is from Fr Paddy Boyle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Administrator St Benedict’s Grange Park and St Monica’s Edenmore. Chaplain to the Deaf Community in Dublin. Trained Child Safeguarding Trainer. Training and Development Co-ordinator with the Dublin Diocese 2005–2016. Currently tutor with the National Office for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. Part-time lecturer in biblical theology in All Hallows College, Dublin, 1998–2014.

March's video presentation is from Dr Ethna Regan, an ethicist and theologian working in the areas of human rights, liberation and political theologies, and other areas of expertise. 


February's video presentation is by Sr Nuala Kenny, a Sister of Charity in Halifax, Newfoundland. 

She has travelled extensively giving reflections to clergy and laity from her books “Healing the Church: Diagnosing and Treating the Clergy Abuse Crisis” (Novalis, 2012) and Still Unhealed: Challenges for Conversion and Reform from the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis (Novalis and Twenty Third Publications, 2019) on the spiritual and ecclesial challenges emerging from this crisis and its management. Her newest book focuses on pathology needing personal and ecclesial conversion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Titled Prophetic Possibilities for the Post Pandemic Church, it has just been published by Novalis.

January's video presentation, below, is by Fr Hans Zollner SJ, founding President of the Centre for Child Protection and Professor at the Institute of Psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, consultor to the Congregation for Clergy, and honorary professor at Durham University, UK.