The scourge of child sexual abuse must be addressed by society at large, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: Vatican News.
“The abuses that have affected the Church are but a pale reflection of a sad reality that involves all of humanity and to which the necessary attention is not paid,” said the Pope in his address on Monday to a Catholic Latin American interdisciplinary group involved in training priests and religious for the protection of minors.
In his address, the Pope associated the suffering of abused children and of all vulnerable persons to that of the suffering Christ, recalling the “martyr child”, St Chistopher de La Guardia, celebrated by the Church in Spain yesterday.
“How the world would change,” he said, “if we saw in the suffering of every child, of every vulnerable person, a trait imprinted in the veil with which Veronica wiped the face of Christ!”
He remarked that “it must also be a significant work for society, so that the steps and achievements of the Church in this path can be an incentive for other institutions to promote this culture of care.”
Meanwhile, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said it had reviewed 300 responses and 700 suggestions from the public on the development of safeguarding guidelines that “largely confirmed the approach adopted” for establishing procedures to handle abuse in the Church, OSV News reports.
The commission, which held its plenary assembly in Rome last week, began working on the second phase of its “Universal Guideline Framework” which will “provide clear criteria for local churches on how safeguarding policies and procedures can become effective,” it said in a statement released on Friday.
In June, the commission launched an online survey open to anyone interested in giving feedback on the proposed framework’s application to local churches. The commission said it will continue incorporating the feedback it received until March 2024.
Pope Francis: Child sexual abuse concerns the entire society (Vatican News)
Papal commission incorporates global feedback in safeguarding guidelines (By Justin McLellan, OSV News)