Catholic World News

Leaders of Roman Curia rally around papal abuse commission

March 27, 2017

A number of top Vatican leaders attended a March 23 seminar hosted by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), in an unmistakable show of support for the commission.

The seminar, which focused on the efforts to prevent abuse in different dioceses around the world, drew an unusual assembly of high-profile prelates, including: Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Joao Braz de Aziz, prefect of the Congregation for Religious; Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life; and Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the dicastery for Integral Human Development. Cardinal Sean O’Malley chaired the seminar in his capacity as president of the PCPM.

Top Vatican officials rarely attend seminars that are hosted by other dicasteries. The presence of so many prefects at the PCPM seminar was a clear sign of support for the group, which has been stung by criticism since the resignation of a prominent member, Marie Collins.

Following its annual plenary meeting on March 24-26, the PCPM issued a statement acknowledging that the Collins resignation had been a “central topic” of discussion, and expressing “strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.”

In an interview with the Crux news site, Cardinal O’Malley reaffirmed that the Vatican is committed to ensuring that bishops are held accountable for responding promptly and appropriately to abuse complaints. When asked whether the Holy See now has proper procedures to guarantee that outcome, he said: “I hope we do, but we need to see how it’s going to work.”


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  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 27, 2017 10:57 AM ET USA

    It fascinates me that one lay person could make such a stir in the Vatican. But again, what is the point of ordaining any pederasts at all to the Priesthood? Is the connection between the kinds of typical abuse and the typical profile of ordained abusive individual still not sufficiently obvious to draw conclusions? And, are the moral and financial losses of the entire Church still not great enough to make the right decision, even if it's "politically incorrect"? This cannot go on for ever.