Office for the Protection of Children and Young People

Child Dignity in the Digital World
World Congress – October 3-6, 2017, Rome

The Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University sponsored the World Congress in order to address the imminent dangers facing children throughout the world in current technological times.
Vatican Radio published a podcast listing the Congress’ highlights, which can be heard here:
At the close of the Congress, Pope Francis stated "As all of us know, in recent years the church has come to acknowledge her own failures in providing for the protection of children: Extremely grave facts have come to light, for which we have to accept our responsibility before God, before the victims and before public opinion.”
The Congress brought together a host of the world’s foremost experts in child safety and protection, psychiatry, digital and IT, international criminal investigation, religious leaders and researchers of criminal activity trends against children.
At the closing, the Congress presented Pope Francis ‘The Declaration of Rome,’ stating “A society can be judged by the way it treats its children.”  In essence, the Declaration recognizes the exponential growth of internet technology, the result reflecting an increase in cyberbullying, harassment and sextortion, as well as the physiological and detrimental effects of pornography on the developing brain.
Recognizing the global problems being faced, the Congress seeks to continually address this new phenomenon and combat the technological threats that erode the dignity of children.
The Diocese of Savannah encourages you to view the Congress’ proceedings via their YouTube Channel. 
Information on The World Congress with links to their YouTube archive of presentations can be found at


The Diocese of Savannah is committed to providing safe environments and fostering continuous improvement in every organization that sponsors activities and/or provides services to children and youth. Through a series of workshops, educational materials, media articles and background checks, the Diocese is:

  • Increasing awareness of potentially harmful situations through the VIRTUS Protecting God's Children for Adults training workshops.
  • Implementing a Diocesan Code of Conduct for Those Working with Minors which outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for all clergy, employees and volunteers.
  • Evaluating background checks for relevance to the employee’s or volunteer’s position.
  • Providing continuing education through the VIRTUS Web site.

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