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In March 2014 Pope Francis established as a permanent commission attached to the Holy See, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) and named Cardinal O’Malley as president. It is an advisory body to the Holy Father. The Commission has no authority to investigate or adjudicate individual cases of abuse.

What the Commission’s work includes:

Healing and Care: The healing and pastoral care of victims/survivors of sexual abuse is of primary importance, with meeting and listening to victims/survivors being a critical part of the healing process.

Education: In exploring the best ways to provide education in safeguarding for all people who serve the Church worldwide, the commission has participated in more than 100 conferences, seminars and workshops on all six continents, including those for bishops and religious superiors, new bishops, officials and staff in the Holy See, and child protection personnel from all over the world.

Assisting Local Churches: The commission has been tasked with assisting local Churches as they implement the guidelines for the protection of minors set forth in the 2011 Circular Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Achievements to date:

  • From May 2014 to October 2018, PCPM members participated in 242 educational and training activities.
  • 73 sessions were held in Europe, followed by Asia 58, and Oceania 40.
  • 32% with Church leadership, 40% with local churches, 5% with the Holy See, 11% with Catholic schools leaders, staff and parents, and 12% with the larger community o Breakdown of Church leadership: 44% Bishops, 39% Religious Superiors and 17% Lay Leaders.
  • In the community, 64% of the trainings were addressed to different groups of the civil society. The other 36% was organized at the academic level in universities.

Ongoing work:

  • Preparing ongoing proposals for the Holy Father o Developing an audit instrument to assess national guidelines
  • Awareness programs: Hosting Latin America Symposium on the Protection of Minors for Civil Society and NGOs Bogotà, Colombia (2020)
  • Local Church Leadership:
  • Co-sponsoring conference in Central/Eastern Europe on safeguarding for April 2019
  • Outreach to women religious in leadership UISG
  • People who have been abused: o Working on local survivors advisory panels in Brazil, Zambia and the Philippines
  • Developing a resource for pastoral outreach during first disclosure

For more information please visit the Commissions homepage by clicking here