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Pope Francis with members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in Rome, March 7 (CNS/VaticanMedia)

The Pope’s commission for advancing the Church’s efforts to prevent the abuse of vulnerable persons is due to submit its first annual report on the state of safeguarding in the Church. Source: NCR Online.

In a statement dated March 8 and sent to reporters on Sunday, the commission said it had approved the submission of its “pilot annual report” on safeguarding policies and procedures to Pope Francis, who had requested a report from the group in April 2022.

While focused particularly on safeguarding policies and procedures in the 13 countries whose bishops made their “ad limina” visits to Rome in 2023 and engaged with the commission staff as part of those visits, the report also offers an assessment of the trends at a regional level, pointing to areas for improvement and it offers recommendations.

The commission’s annual report will offer “recommendations on how to move forward in achieving the goals of truth, justice, reparation” and to prevent child sex abuse in the church. A section of the report will also review how various departments of the Roman Curia engage the local church in safeguarding, the statement said.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, president of the commission, told participants at the assembly that the report was expected to be released in the northern summer.

The commission also announced in its March 8 statement the approval of a study group “to examine the reality of vulnerable persons in the context of the Church’s ministry and how this informs safeguarding efforts”.

The goal of the study group is to “adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to the questions around vulnerability to provide concrete recommendations on how the Church might better combat the harms committed against non-minors by the Church’s ministers in a variety of pastoral settings,” the statement added. It will present its findings in a report and offer a set of recommendations.


Papal commission to submit first safeguarding report, launches study group (By Justin McLellan, OSV News via NCR Online)