CV NEWS FEED // After meeting with Pope Francis at the end of September, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors issued a letter to the delegates at the Synod on Synodality, asking them to address the lack of support for abuse victims.
The commission said in its letter that there is still a lack of support for those who were abused by priests.
“Five years after the 2019 Summit on the Protection of Minors that gathered Church leaders from all over the world, deep frustrations remain, especially among those seeking justice for the wrongs done to them… The unacceptable resistance [among Church leaders] that remains points to a scandalous lack of resolve by many in the Church that is often compounded by a serious lack of resources,” the commission wrote.
The commission urged Synod participants to listen to the testimonies of sex abuse victims, protect children through safety policies and procedures, and to “work towards the day when our Church takes full account and full responsibility for the wrongs done to so many in its care.”
“The reality of sexual abuse in our Church goes to the heart of the Synod’s agenda. It deals with who we are as a community of faith, founded on Jesus. It permeates discussions on leadership models, ministry roles, professional standards of behavior, and of being in right relationship with one another and all of creation,” the commission wrote.
“We ask that sexual abuse in the Church permeate your discussions as they address teaching, ministry, formation, and governance,” the commission continued. “While at times it may seem like a daunting set of questions to face, please rise to the challenge so that you may address, in a comprehensive way, the threat posed by sexual abuse to the Church’s credibility in announcing the Gospel.”
The commission also called out the College of Cardinals, saying that “effective change” is impossible without “the pastoral conversion of Church leaders.”
“We urge you to work towards these long-overdue goals not just for one or two days during your gathering, but to consider them throughout the entire Synod process,” the commission concluded. “Their achievement will be a singular sign of the Synod’s success, a sign that we are walking with the wounded and the forgotten as disciples of the one Lord, in search of a better way.”
The commission was founded in 2013 to oversee global programs to eradicate both clerical child sexual abuse and mishandling of the child sexual abuse crisis by Church authorities.