Posts Tagged the Commission

Voice of the Faithful thanks Pontifical Commission for prompting new tribunal for holding bishops accountable

The Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful today thanks the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and Cardinal Sean O’Malley for presenting proposals to Pope Francis that have led to establishment of a new Vatican tribunal for judicial review of allegations against bishops involved in clergy sexual abuse of children.

At the same time, we thank Pope Francis for approving the tribunal and authorizing funding for it.

Time will tell whether these moves actually result in holding bishops accountable for coverups of crimes, but these steps are the most promising the Vatican has yet taken.

Although thankful that Pope Francis has funded the tribunal, we are awaiting similar funding for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Unlike other Vatican committees, the Commission answers directly to the Pope and not to other Curial offices—and funding is essential for the Commission to maintain its independence from the Curia.

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 www.votf.org.

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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 www.votf.org.

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Pope Francis already has the power and authority necessary to hold bishops and religious major superiors accountable / Catholic Whistleblowers

Catholic Whistleblowers appreciates the efforts of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to hold accountable those bishops and religious major superiors who have failed to deal with priests who have sexually abused minors. We especially commend the two members of the Commission who are victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse, Irishwoman Marie Collins and Englishman Peter Saunders, for their strong and publicly stated commitment to truth, justice, and healing.

“Yet, we also note that the Commission does not need to reinvent the wheel. The Code of Canon Law already provides the way for Pope Francis to deal with these bishops and religious superiors.

“Indeed, the pope has power and authority over all of the Church which he is always able to exercise freely (cc. 331, 333, §1 and 590, §1). And nothing in Church law prohibits the application of Church law by the pope regarding bishops and religious superiors.”

By Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee — Click here to read the rest of this statement.

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