Abuse victim is among the members of Francis’ new anti-paedophilia Commission



Indelible seal of the Sacrament of Baptism “reaffirmed” by a female Protestant ministerette


Marie Collins and Sean O’Malley are among the first eight chosen by the Pope. “Other members from various parts of the world will be appointed in due course”

Today Pope Francis nominated the first eight members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors instituted to prevent abuse in the Church. The new Commission is made up of four men and four women from different countries, including Marie Collins, who was a victim of sexual abuse in Ireland in the 1960s and the Franciscan Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and a member of the Pope’s eight-member Council of Cardinals. O’Malley had announced the establishment of a special anti-paedophilia Commission last December. The other individuals selected are: Catherine Bonnet (France); Sheila Hollins (Britain); Claudio Papale, an Italian jurist and Professor of Canonical Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University; former Polish ambassador Hanna Suchocka; the Jesuit priest Humberto Miguel Yanez (Argentina) and the Dean of the Gregorian Faculty, Hans Zollner (Germany).

 The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, announced the first nominations explaining that “the Commission created by Francis to protect minors from sex abuse, is part of the Pope’s mission to respond to his sacred duty of ensuring the safety of young people.” “There will be other members chosen from various parts of the world joining this initial group,” he added.

  For the time being, most of the eight members that form the structure’s foundation are European. This is in order “to make meetings easier,” the Vatican spokesman said. “The Commission believes the Church has a crucial role to play in this field and intends to look towards the future without forgetting the past, adopting a multifaceted approach to ensure the protection of minors. This includes education to prevent the exploitation of children, the adoption of criminal procedures where offences are committed against minors civil and canonical duties and responsibilities, development of best-practices identified and developed within society as a whole,” Lombardi said.

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