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The church must be a protected place for minors

The church must be a protected place for minors

Pope Francis stated that the Church must continue to commit with all its might to preventing abuses, condemning them firmly, and treating victims with compassion and concern.

The scandal of abuse and the suffering of the victims can be disheartening, because rebuilding broken lives and treating pain is a huge and complex challenge. However, this should not diminish their commitment; Moreover, I encourage you to continue so that the Church may always and everywhere be a place where everyone feels at home and where everyone is holy.

The head of the church said. He stressed: In church service, closeness to victims is not an abstract concept, but rather a very concrete reality, which means listening, intervention, prevention and assistance.

He believed that everyone, especially church authorities, should know firsthand the consequences of abuse.

We allow ourselves to be touched by the suffering of victims, to hear directly their voices, close to them, which gives us comfort and assistance with practical decisions and creates a different future for everyone.

– said the head of the church. He added that it is not possible for victims of violations not to receive reception and listening, because that could greatly increase their suffering. He noted that providing assistance requires personal commitment and expertise.

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The Pope thanked the committee for its work over the past ten years. He said that most of the work is done secretly and behind the scenes, with respect for those in charge. Pope Francis added that the results of the committee's activities have become clear thanks to cooperation with local churches.

The Pope said that when the commission was formed, he called for providing reliable means to receive and care for victims and survivors and, at the same time, to enable local communities to provide prevention and protection themselves, especially in those parts of the world. A world where there was a lack of resources and expertise.

On March 22, 2014, Pope Francis established the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The purpose of the twenty-person advisory council, made up of ecclesiastical and lay experts, is to propose initiatives to the Pope to protect minors and vulnerable adults, so that sexual abuse does not occur in the Church. The commission holds its plenary session in March each year, when it also submits an annual report to the Pope.

Cover photo: Archangel Pope Francis (the angels) prays from the window of the Vatican Pavilion overlooking St. Peter's Square in Rome on March 3, 2024 (Photo: MTI/EPA-ANSA/Fabio Frustaci)

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