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Pope Francis with members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors yesterday (Vatican Media)

The Church should not be discouraged by the challenge of confronting sexual abuse, Pope Francis said yesterday, rather it must take concrete steps in developing policies to preserve the dignity of its members. Source: NCR Online.

“In confronting the scandal of abuse and the suffering of victims, we might well grow discouraged, since the challenge of restoring the fabric of broken lives and of healing pain is enormous and complex,” the Pope said in a written speech. “Yet our commitment must not wane; indeed, I encourage you to move forward, so that the Church will be, always and everywhere, a place where everyone can feel at home and each person is treated as sacred.”

Meeting with members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors during their plenary assembly, the Pope had an aide, Msgr Pierluigi Giroli, read his message to the group.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, president of the commission, was also present at the meeting.

In his message, Francis made reference to the annual report on the Church’s child protection efforts he requested from the commission in 2022, the first version of which is expected to be completed this year. 

The Pope wrote that the report “should not be just another document, but should help us better to appreciate the work that still lies ahead”.

He also praised the work of the commission’s “Memorare Initiative,” which aims to provide safeguarding training and qualified staff to local churches in various countries, and he said the initiative is a way for the commission to demonstrate its closeness to Church leaders in strengthening abuse prevention efforts.

Protecting minors in the Church “is no abstract concept, but a very concrete reality comprised of listening, preventing and assisting,” he wrote. “All of us, especially Church authorities, are called to acknowledge firsthand the impact of abuse and to be deeply moved by the suffering of victims.”


Pope: Despite discouragement, Church’s safeguarding efforts ‘must not wane’ (By Justin McLellan, NCR Online)


Pope: Church’s efforts to safeguard minors must not wane (Vatican News)