Pope Francis Establishes New Commission to Combat Child Abuse
By Kathy Schiffer
This morning at the Vatican, it was announced that Pope Francis will set up a child protection commission to combat child abuse.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who is in Rome to attend the Council of Cardinals meeting at the Vatican, told reporters that the commission will survey child protection programs and work with bishops and religious.
Among the commission’s responsibilities will be reviewing existing guidelines, priestly formation programs, codes of conduct, and procedures for screening candidates for the priesthood.
The commission will also focus on supporting victims of abuse, will issue recommendations regarding how the Church can best cooperate with civil authorities, and will advise the Pope on prevention policies and pastoral outreach for the victims.
The commission will include both clergy and lay people.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will retain responsibility for investigating and trying accused priests.