Vatican website launched to help protect from clerical sexual abuse

A  Vatican website showing the efforts being made to protect people from clerical sexual abuse was launched this week.

Children, teens and vulnerable adults are those the Vatican particularly aims to protect.

Set up following recommendations from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the  website offers a suite of resources.

Among these are Guidelines for Episcopal Conferences and Religious Congregations, along with educational, spiritual, healing and prayer resources.

A best practice Template supports the Guidelines so policies can be developed by local Conferences of Bishops and Religious to fit local contexts.

The Commission’s role is also educational.

For example, it is advising bishops and church leaders across the globe about their “responsibility and accountability” for protecting young and vulnerable people from sexual abuse.

The Commission is also ensuring church leaders realise they are accountable for creating a safe culture.

This culture would ensure young and vulnerable people are protected “in all institutions and structures of the Catholic Church”.

The Commission says it sees the website as “a useful resource for the Church and all people of good will in our common goal, which is to make our Church and our society a safe home for all.”

Although the website is only in English at present, in the longer term it will also be in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

Pope Francis set up the Commission, in 2013 to “promote the protection of the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults.” It has no judicial powers.

It is headed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and has 17 members from around the world. Two are clerical sexual abuse survivors.

The Commission’s contact details are included on the website.

Although open for use, the new website is defined as a “beta” version. This means it is still being developed and changes can be expected.


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News category: World.

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