NZ noted in pontifical child protection group statement

New Zealand was one the countries mentioned in a recent communiqué from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The statement from the commission set up to advise Pope Francis on best practice in the fight against child sexual abuse came after its most recent meeting in Rome.

In order to comply with one of the Pope’s goals for the commission, that of promoting local responsibility, members have been “actively in contact” with bishops’ conferences and others.

“Over the past year or so, commission members have met with bishops and child protection authorities in: Philippines, Austria, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Poland, Central America (in Costa Rica), United States,” the statement noted.

The director of the National Office for Professional Standards in New Zealand, Bill Kilgallon, is a member of the 17-person commission.

A workshop conducted by commission members last year in the Philippines saw that nation’s bishops create a child safeguarding office.

The commission’s statement added that it is preparing to ask Pope Francis to remind all bishops of the importance of responding personally to abuse victims and survivors who approach them.

The commission stated it is preparing to ask the Pope to institute a “Universal Day of Prayer” as well as a penitential liturgy for the crime of sexual abuse.

In upcoming months, commission members say they’ll hold workshops on the legal aspects of the protection of minors.

This will be with the goal of promoting more transparent Church trials.

Another goal is the establishment of a website to facilitate sharing of best practices for the protection of minors around the world.

The September, 2016, meeting of the commission will have a strategic focus on safeguarding minors in Catholic schools.


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