The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) said September 9, 2018, that its group of experts dedicated to working with survivors will launch pilot projects, the first to be in Brazil. The announcement came in a statement from the PCPM following its September 7-9 plenary session in Rome.
“Building on the work of founding members, these projects are a mechanism to create safe spaces and transparent processes by which people who have been abused can come forward,” according to the PCPM statement. “Through these survivor advisory panels, it is hoped the local church leadership will also benefit from the direct input of victims/survivors into how they can improve their child protection and safeguarding policies”
Members of the commission, headed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, have taken part in over 100 safeguarding workshops.
The group that oversees Education and Formation outlined a series of future initiatives in formation seminars and conferences that are an essential part of promoting awareness of and responsibility for protection policies at a local level.
In April 2019, the Commission will sponsor a Safeguarding Conference for Church leaders in Central/Eastern Europe. Also in April 2019, together with the Brazilian Bishops Conference, the Commission will offer a week of safeguarding formation for bishops and formators, in Aparecida, Brazil. In November 2019 Members have been invited to address a meeting of CELAM in Mexico. In 2020, the Commission will co-sponsor a Congress on Protection of Minors for operators in the church and civil society in the Americas in Bogotá, Colombia.
“Members also reflected on the recent developments in the global church that have negatively affected so many people including victims/survivors, families and the community of faithful,” according to the PCPM statement. “The questions that have been raised in recent months not only focus the public on the seriousness of abuse, they are an opportunity to call people to the mission of prevention so that the future will be different from our history. The Commission’s starting point is not to investigate abuses; our starting point is to prevent abuses.”
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was created by Pope Francis in March of 2014 to propose the most opportune initiatives for the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults and to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches.
For more information on the work of the Pontifical Commission visit our website at www.protectionofminors.va