Posts Tagged VOTF 2015 National Assembly

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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Members of Vatican abuse commission question Francis’ inaction in Chile / National Catholic Reporter

Two members of the new Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on clergy sexual abuse (Peter Saunders, United Kingdom, and Marie Collins, Ireland, both clergy sexual abuse survivors) say they are both concerned and surprised at the pope’s decision to appoint a bishop in Chile who is accused of covering up abuse, even witnessing it while he was a priest.

Speaking in brief NCR interviews Thursday in personal capacities, the commission members also said some in their group are considering traveling to Rome to speak to the pope face-to-face on the matter.

Bishop Juan Barros Madrid was installed Saturday as head of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, amid protests in the cathedral. Chilean survivors accuse Barros of covering up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, a once-renowned spiritual leader and key Chilean church figure who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of sexually abusing minors, when Barros was a priest.

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Marie Collins of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, who is quoted in this story, will be the featured speaker at the VOTF 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 18.

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