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Vatican Announces New Measures to Protect Minor Children

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The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, led by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, has implemented new policies and updates in response to the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church. During their recent plenary assembly, the commission adopted several changes, including updating the Church's guidelines for addressing clergy sexual abuse, creating an "audit tool" to assess the adequacy of safeguarding guidelines in local churches, and establishing a new fund to support victims, their families, and communities in impoverished areas.

The Church has a sacred responsibility, from the time of Christ, to protect children.

The Church has a sacred responsibility, from the time of Christ, to protect children.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/10/2023 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Vatican, Catholic, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Clergy abuse

Cardinal O'Malley expressed that these actions signify a significant shift towards a more impact-focused direction for the commission. However, he acknowledged that the pace of change over the past six months has been challenging, with growing pains as the commission attempts to respond to short and long-term needs. The commission has also undergone key adjustments to its working methodology to clarify the different roles and create a sense of common ownership for implementing their mandate collectively.

The commission reviewed its partnership with the GHR Foundation, a Catholic philanthropic organization that provides regional safeguarding consultants to the commission. It also reviewed the framework for the Annual Report of Safeguarding Policies and Procedures in the Church, which Pope Francis requested in April to promote transparency and accountability on sexual abuse responses from local churches worldwide.

The commission also brainstormed ways to combat online child abuse as requested by Pope Francis. Additionally, it collaborated with the Dicastery for the Evangelization of Peoples to further safeguarding goals through the Vatican office overseeing the Church's life in more than half of the globe's territory.

The commission commissioned a new study on the theme of vulnerability in various forms to equip Church entities with robust measures to combat this emerging area of abuse. The commission adopted a five-year plan identifying objectives, goals, and performance indicators to measure progress and provide accountability to stakeholders.

Cardinal O'Malley expressed the commission's commitment to making their work successful, seeking the necessary resources to respond adequately. He concluded by saying that the commission is confident in the plan laid out and the people working with them.

The commission's actions show a significant commitment to addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. By updating policies and implementing new measures, they are prioritizing the needs of victims and survivors, promoting transparency and accountability, and working towards combatting various forms of abuse.

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