Pope names organisers of 2019 protection of minors meeting

The names of the organising committee for the Vatican’s upcoming meeting about the protection of minors in the Church has been announced.

Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, says next February’s “unprecedented” meeting shows “Pope Francis has made the protection of minors a fundamental priority for the Church”.

The meeting is not only “about keeping children safe from harm worldwide”, however.

“Pope Francis wants Church leaders to have a full understanding of the devastating impact that clerical sexual abuse has on victims”, says Burke.

Although the meeting is primarily for bishops, who bear responsibility for the “grave problem”, Burke says lay men and women who are experts in the field of abuse will also be on hand to give their input.

It is they who “can help address especially what needs to done to ensure transparency and accountability”, he says.

The Holy See press office says the Reverend Hans Zollner SJ has been named by Pope Francis as both a member and the contact person for the committee. Other members include:

  • Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias
  • the Most Reverend Charles Scicluna

Others involved in preparatory work will include Dr Gabriella Gambino and Dr Linda Ghisoni, as well as the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and some victims of abuse by members of the clergy.

The Holy See press office says besides Pope Francis, the February meeting will include:

  • the Heads of the Oriental Catholic Churches
  • the Superiors of the Secretariat of State
  • the Prefects of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Oriental Churches, for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, and of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life
  • the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences
  • representatives of the Union of Superiors General and of the International Union of Superiors General


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