2014-05-03 16:51:25

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors concludes first meeting

May 3, 2014: A new papal commission for protecting minors from sexual abuse in the Catholic Church concluded its first meeting on Saturday, expressing its “heartfelt solidarity with all victims/survivors of sexual abuse as children and vulnerable adults”. In a statement released through the Holy See’s Press Office, members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said that in their commitment “the best interests of a child or vulnerable adult are primary when any decision is made.”
Pope Francis established the 8-member commission in March to advise him on ways to prevent abuse in the Catholic Church and provide pastoral care for victims and their families.
At the end of their May1-3 meeting, the 4 men and 4 women members - both lay and clergy - released a statement through the Holy See’s Press Office, saying their discussion focused on the Commission’s nature and purpose and on expanding the membership to include people from other geographical areas and other areas of expertise. They discussed on ways to collaborate with experts from different areas related to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The statement said that the “Commission will not deal with individual cases of abuse, but we can make recommendations regarding policies for assuring accountability and best practice.” “We have also shared with Pope Francis how important certain areas are to us in our future work. We see ensuring accountability in the Church as especially important, including developing means for effective and transparent protocols and processes,” the members wrote. “…we join with ‎people of good will in our endeavour to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected from ‎abuse,” they added. ‎

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