Centre for Child Protection

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Centre for Child Protection (CCP)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
Academic affiliation
Pontifical Gregorian University
PresidentFr. Hans Zollner, SJ
Via del Seminario, 120

The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) is an academic center of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, which provides higher educational degrees in safeguarding. The CCP was launched in Munich in January 2012 by the Institute of Psychology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the State University Clinic of Ulm.


The idea for the foundation of the CCP came in 2011, when Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ (President of the CCP at the Pontifical Gregorian University) and Prof. Jörg M. Fegert (Director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the State University Clinic of Ulm) met during a working group meeting for the German Federal Government's Round Table on Child Sexual Abuse (initiated in response to the 2010 media storm spotlighting clerical sexual abuse in Germany). At the same time, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising learned about the idea and pledged to support it. Even from the outset, the project was understood to be a long-term response of ongoing education in safeguarding. It was decided to have a three-year pilot phase (January 2012 - December 2014) based in Munich with a steering committee consisting of Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, Prof. Jörg M. Fegert, and Msgr. Klaus Peter Franzl for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. The Centre launched its work with a Symposium "Towards Healing and Renewal" in 2012. During the pilot phase, two major conferences were organized to raise awareness about the work of the CCP in safeguarding, to study the situation, and to present the state of the question in the Catholic Church. The first conference took place in Freising, from 30 October to 1 November 2012, entitled "Communication and Empowerment: Victims of Child Sexual Abuse". The second conference (7-8 November 2013) was held in Munich on the topic "Learning from the Past: Implications for the Future".

The primary project of the CCP during this phase was the development of a multilingual online education program on the prevention of child sexual abuse for pastoral professions in working with partners around the world.[1] In 2014 it was decided to move the headquarters of the Centre to Rome. Since its foundation, it has functioned within the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Structure and organization[edit]

The CCP is part of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ is President, and Msgr. Peter Beer serves as Head of Research and Development of the Centre's educational programs. An international and interdisciplinary team staffs the office. A Scientific Advisory Board accompanies the development as well as the activities of the Centre. It consists of international ecclesiastical and non-ecclesiastical experts in research and practice. The present members are Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins (Chair), Dr. Delphine Collin-Vezina, Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco, and Msgr. Stephen Rossetti.


The first mission of the CCP is to safeguard the vulnerable, educating to protect them from all kinds of abuses and any attempt to violate their integrity, both within the Catholic Church and in society. To this end, the Centre has undertaken numerous activities, giving emphasis to research as well as academic formation and training. Beyond offering educational programs, it collaborates with an international academic network as well as with doctoral students in various fields (psychology, theology, spirituality, canon law, social sciences, etc.).

Educational programs[edit]

Blended Learning: "Safeguarding: Our Commitment, a Program for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Minors"[edit]

The CCP offers multilingual and multicultural blended learning training and qualification on different levels of expertise (academic and non-academic levels) for pastoral professions, Church leaders, social workers, teachers, and also for university students. It was designed bearing in mind that people from all over the world would be utilizing it, hence the development of this certified educational program in five languages (English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish). The Centre has had partnerships in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Togo, Uruguay, and Zambia.

Diploma in Safeguarding[edit]

The Diploma Course, offered in both Spanish and English, aims at training people involved in the field of safeguarding such as safeguarding officers, advisors, and collaborators in different professional environments like dioceses, religious congregations, and educational institutions. It also provides training for those who will be future trainers in the field of safeguarding in seminaries, formation houses, schools, etc.

Licentiate in Safeguarding[edit]

The CCP offers an interdisciplinary licentiate degree in safeguarding, which is a two-year program with two specialized tracks: intervention and prevention. This course prepares its graduates to handle safeguarding situations using practical and theoretical competencies, allowing for safeguarding measures to be formed, implemented, and evaluated. Graduates with such a degree manage safeguarding teams and write culturally-tailored safeguarding measures for their particular professional environment.

Scientific publications[edit]

Publications by or associated with the Centre include:


The Centre both organizes and participates in international conferences, congresses, symposiums, etc. The Symposium "Towards Healing and Renewal" was organized 6 – 9 February 2012 at the Gregorian University in Rome, attended by approximately 220 people: bishops, priests, religious, and lay men and women with related experience (victims, psychotherapists, lawyers, etc.). In 2017, the Centre hosted a congress on "Child Dignity in the Digital World". Pope Francis addressed[2] the Congress, during which a declaration[3] was written, urging world leaders to do more to protect the privacy, dignity, and rights of minors in the digital world. From 2015-2018, the Centre for Child Protection annually hosted and co-organized the Anglophone Safeguarding Conferences.


  1. ^ Böhm, B., Fegert, J. M., Zollner, H., Fuchs, K. A. & Witte, S. (2015). Internationales ELearning Curriculum „Prävention von sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch für pastoraleBerufe“. Forschungsergebnisse zu Zufriedenheit, Qualität und Passung. Nervenheilkunde, 34, 547-554
  2. ^ "The Pope's Address to the Participants of the Child Dignity in the Digital World Congress".
  3. ^ "Declaration of Rome".

External links[edit]