New Additions to Commission for Protecting Minors Announced

Fr. Lombardi: All Geographic Continents Represented; Almost Half Women, Half Laypeople

In an unannounced, but somewhat expected, briefing in the Holy See Press Office this morning, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican press office director, informed journalists that Pope Francis has named new members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, “chosen from various parts of the world, so as to allow a broad representation of different situations and cultures.”

“Therefore, now, we finally have 17 members, representing all the continents,” he stated, noting, “Ten are laypeople.” 

Turning to the members’ qualifications, he informed journalists that some “are theologians, psychologists, academics, psychotherapists, moralists, and experts in education, rights, social work and so on.”

“Eight are women, two of whom are religious,” he said. “There are nine men.”

“Two are victims of abuse,” he said, including Marie Collins of Ireland, already on the commission, and Peter Saunders of England, just added.

The Commission’s next plenary session, Fr. Lombardi said, will take place in the Vatican, Feb. 6-8.

Here below is the Vatican-provided list of all commission members and some brief information on the qualifications of each:


The complete composition of the Commission is therefore as follows:

Cardinal Seán O’MALLEY, OFM Cap., president

Mons. Robert OLIVER (United States), secretary

Rev. Luis Manuel ALI HERRERA (Colombia)

Dr. Catherine BONNET (France)

Marie COLLINS (Ireland)

Dr. Gabriel DY-LIACCO (Philippines)

Prof. Sheila the Baroness HOLLINS (England)

Bill KILGALLON (New Zealand)

Sr. Kayula Gertrude LESA, RSC (Zambia)

Sr. Hermenegild MAKORO, CPS (South Africa)

Kathleen McCORMACK AM (Australia)

Dr. Claudio PAPALE (Italy)

Peter SAUNDERS (England)

Hon. Hanna SUCHOCKA (Poland)

Dr. Krysten WINTER-GREEN (United States)

Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel YÁÑEZ, SJ (Argentina)

Rev. Dr. Hans ZOLLNER, SJ (Germany)

Brief information on members of the Commission is given below.

Cardinal Seán O’MALLEY, OFM Cap. (United States) is the Archbishop of Boston and serves as the President of the Commission and a member of the Council of Cardinals which advises His Holiness, Pope Francis.

Mons. Robert OLIVER (United States) serves as the Secretary of the Commission, following many years in child protection work for the Archdiocese of Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Promoter of Justice.

Rev. Luis Manuel ALI HERRERA (Colombia) is the Director of the Department of Phychology, professor of pastoral psychology in the Conciliar Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, and as a parish priest.

Dr. Catherine BONNET (France) is a child psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author on child sexual abuse and perinatal violence and neglect.

Marie COLLINS (Ireland) is a survivor of child sexual abuse. A founder Trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation she served on the committee which drafted the Catholic Church’s all-Ireland child protection policy, “Our Children Our Church.”

Dr. Gabriel DY-LIACCO (Philippines) is an adult and adolescent psychotherapist and pastoral counselor for various mental health concerns including of individuals, couples, families and groups, including victims and perpetrators of abuse.

<p>Prof. Sheila the Baroness HOLLINS (England) has worked as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with children and adults with intellectual disabilities including those who have been sexually abused, and is a life peer in the House of Lords.

Bill KILGALLON (New Zealand) is Director of the National Office for Professional Standards of the Catholic Church in New Zealand where he has lived for the last four years. Prior to that he had a long career in social work and health services in the UK.

Sr. Kayula Gertrude LESA, RSC (Zambia) is a Development Professional, trainer and author on child protection, human trafficking, refugee rights and the right to information. She served as a member of the African Forum for Church Social Teaching (AFCAST).

Sr. Hermenegild MAKORO, CPS (South Africa) is a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in the Diocese of Mathatha in South Africa. She works as a high school teacher and for several years in the diocese as a trainer in pastoral work. After serving as an Associate Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference for six years, Sr. Hermenegild was appointed as the Secretary General of the SACBC in 2012.

Kathleen McCORMACK AM (Australia) is a social welfare worker who served as Director of Welfare of CatholicCare in the Diocese of Wollongong for 29 years and held leadership roles in Family Services, Child Protection, Out Of Home Care and Ageing and Disability Services.

Dr. Claudio PAPALE (Italy) is a canon lawyer and a civil lawyer, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, and an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Peter SAUNDERS (England) was abused throughout his childhood in Wimbledon, South West London.  Later in life, after earning a Business Studies degree, Peter discovered that he was one of millions who had suffered such abuse and who could not find any appropriate support.  So he set up NAPAC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, for supporting all survivors and for developing greater resources for responding to child abuse.

Hon. Hanna SUCHOCKA (Poland) is a professor of constitutional law and specialist in human rights at the University of Poznan, and was formerly Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See.

Dr. Krysten WINTER-GREEN (United States) is a New Zealander with post-graduate degrees in Theology, Human Development, Social Work, Religion and Pastoral Psychology. She has served in dioceses around the world with homeless persons and those living with AIDS. Krysten’s concentration in the areas of child abuse include forensics, assessment and treatment of priest/clergy offenders.

Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel YÁÑEZ, SJ (Argentina) is Director of the Department of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, professor of moral theology at the Gregorian and the Pontifical Urban University, and former Director of the Center of Research and Social Action in Argentina.

Rev. Dr. Hans ZOLLNER, SJ (Germany) is President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Director and Professor of the Institute of Psychology. He was Chair of the organizing committee for the Symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal” on sexual abuse of minors (February 2012).

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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