Archive for May 8th, 2015

Voice of the Faithful applauds Vatican acceptance of statutes for Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful applauds today’s promulgation of the statutes governing the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Established at the height of publicity surrounding clergy sexual abuse in the United States in 2002, VOTF considers this step significant because it ratifies the Commission’s independence from Curia-controlled offices and because the statutes were written by the Commission members themselves.

Commission member Marie Collins described the work the Commission conducted in drafting these statutes during her keynote address at the VOTF 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Conn., last month.

As listed on the Vatican’s news website, the statutes establish the Commission’s autonomous existence within the Vatican bureaucracy, creating a central location responsible specifically and only for clergy sexual abuse. The statutes reiterate the “paramount importance” of the protection of minors and charge the Commission with advising the Pope on initiatives that “promote the responsibility of local Churches” to protect “all minors and vulnerable adults.”

In addition, the Commission will advise the Pope directly, effectively removing any bureaucratic or curial barriers between it and the Pontiff. The statutes give the Commission authority to require an “account of the effectiveness” of any competent body within the Church responsible for the protection of minors. And the statutes do not require members to be clerics, which will tamp down the effects of clericalism on the commission’s deliberations and decisions.

As important as these statutes are, VOTF awaits funding for the Commission’s work and hopes this will not take another decade.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at

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Vatican publishes statutes for commission to protect minors / National Catholic Reporter

The Holy See this morning published the statutes for the Commission for the Protection of Minors, giving that body canonical and juridical status within the Roman Curia. It may not seem like they are very earth-shattering or, in the event, Church-shattering, but they are. First, there is the fact of a commission … (Second) the new commission specifically has the task of working with local churches and coordinating efforts within the Roman Curia to deal with the scourge of clergy sex abuse. Third, and perhaps most significantly, the new statutes stipulate: ‘The Commission is an advisory body at the service of the Holy Father’ … Fourth, apart from the chair and the secretary, there is no requirement that the commission members be clerics at all.”

By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Archbishop Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to concealing child sex abuse / The Sydney Morning Herald

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty to concealing child sex abuse in the Catholic church via his lawyer in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday (June 6).

“Archbishop Wilson, who did not appear, was represented by barrister Simon Buchen, who said his client was pleading not guilty and he was anticipating a lengthy hearing …

“Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world to be charged with concealing a child sex abuse allegation against another priest.”

By Gabriel Wingate-Pearce, The Sidney Morning Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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