New Book on Culture of Care Offers “concrete steps” in Religious Confronting Abuse Menace

A poster announcing the December 13 book launch. Credit: Pauline Publications Africa

Readers of the 166-page newly launched book will gather “concrete steps” on how communities of men and women Religious can effectively confront the scourge of abuse and provide access to supportive communities for those who may encounter questions or even resistance in their attempts to implement diligent policies and practices.

Launched on Tuesday, December 13, the book, “A Culture of Care & Protection: New Challenges for Consecrated Life”, is a collection of well-researched articles that address both the implementation of Canon-law procedures and the analysis of cases, whilst providing valuable insights into how better to approach the human and psychological aspects of formation to Religious Life.

This seminal work on how religious communities can effectively confront the scourge of abuse is a reliable handbook among those with leadership roles in Consecrated Life generally, Fr. Joachim Zoundi, one of the guest speakers during the launch, said.

A screenshot of Fr. Joachim Zoundi during December 13 Book launch. Credit: Capuchin TV

In his address during the launch, Fr. Zoundi said the book brings together “specialized people in either psychology or safeguarding to provide concrete steps on how the Church can deal with the issue of child protection today.”


The lecturer of Theology at the Nairobi-based Jesuits’ Hekima University College said the new book is “an awakening to tell us that we have to care for one another.” 

“It brings out concrete steps to reverse abuses in order to make the Church a safe place for children and vulnerable people,” Fr. Zoundi said about the book that was edited by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), the Union of Superiors General (USG), and the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM).

The first step, the lecturer of systematic theology said, is by denouncing clericalism within the Church.

“The Church is denouncing clericalism because we are not called to become powerful people, untouchable people. We have been called to serve the Church and to serve the little ones,” the Burkinabe-born Jesuit Priest said.

Secondly, he said, there is need to “reform formation houses, the formation of Priests, Religious men and women because we neglected emotional formation, sexual and affective formation.”

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Credit: Capuchin TV

“This book is calling us to go back to this holistic formation so that Priests, Religious men and women, can be people trusted because they merit to be trusted and are able to lead others to find God,” Fr. Zoundi said during the December 13 event.

The Jesuit Cleric further said the book also highlights the need to “create a safe environment in the formation setup, in parishes to encourage the culture of caring and the culture of healing.”

“We are to listen to those who are being wounded by our bad actions by trying to help them come out of the issue,” the Catholic Priest added.

He continued, “Today if we don't take care of the affectivity of the Priests and Religious, we will have problems because there will be unbalanced situations and abuse will become possible.”


“Formators have to be mature spiritually, psychologically, and affectively so that they can form young people, men, and women to better serve the community,” Fr. Zoundi said.

He added in reference to the book that was published by the Nairobi-based Pauline Publications Africa, “The book is very relevant to the African setup for Religious and laypeople because it addresses a human problem.”

The Jesuit Priest said the book helps Priests and women and men Religious “to see that we need to be more generous, bringing the best of ourselves to show to the world that we can form a better humanity for tomorrow.”

“In this sense, the book is an eye opener to help us to know that we don't have to just observe. We have to get committed to making a change in the world,” he added.

The contributions in the new book are informed by many years of living Religious Life and working for the care and protection of minors and vulnerable persons.

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In the Foreword, PCPM President, Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, says that the book should provide access to a supportive community for those who may encounter questions or even resistance when they try to ensure policies and practices are implemented.

Also speaking during the December 13 book launch, the Secretary General of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA), Sr. Bridgita Samba, said the new book targets women and men Religious in general, but more so those in formation houses.

A screenshot of Sr. Bridgita Samba during December 13 Book launch. Credit: Capuchin TV

Sr. Samba said the book is non-discriminatory as it is also relevant for parents and everyone who takes part in formation of Priests and women and men Religious.

The member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Mombasa said that it is important to build a culture of care and protection so that “young people can grow in an environment where they feel safe, and where they feel they can be listened to.”

The book is very practical, the Secretary General of ACWECA said, and added, “It looks at abuses and comes up with practical ways of dealing with them.”

Credit: Capuchin TV

The Kenyan Catholic Nun who has a background in Journalism and Media Studies, as well as in Interreligious Dialogue and Islamic Studies further said the new book challenges Religious formators and people dealing with the youth to look for ways of creating awareness, educating people, helping young people to understand themselves so that they know their personalities and how they can relate with one another within the communities.

“I would like to encourage each and every formator, superior general, Sister, Priest, Bishop to buy their copy and to ensure that they go through it to actually be part of the safeguarding culture,” she said.

Sr. Samba added, “The Pope is talking about abuses and he is very passionate about it. But protection or care for minors begins with you and me, so let's be responsible adults.”

On her part, Sr. Olga Massango who heads the marketing department of Paulines Publications Africa said the new book “caters for a human need”.

A screenshot of Sr. Olga Massango during December 13 Book launch. Credit: Capuchin TV

The member of the Daughters of St. Paul said copies of the new book have been dispatched to several African countries.

The book that goes for US$6.00 is available at Pauline bookshops in Nairobi and in soft copy at