Established by Pope Francis Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors

2014-03-22 L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis has established the Pontifical Commission for the Protections of Minors, which was announced on 5 December 2013, and he has called the following persons to take part: Dr Catherine Bonnet (France); Ms Marie Collins (Ireland); Prof. Sheila Hollins (The United Kingdom); Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, OFM Cap. (The United States); Prof. Claudio Papale (Italy); H.E. Ms Hanna Suchocka (Poland); Fr Humberto Miguel Yáñez, SJ (Argentina); Fr Hans Zollner, SJ (The Federal Republic of Germany).

The first task of the Commission – to which other members, chosen from various geographical regions of the world will be added subsequently - will be the preparation of statutes which will define its competence and roles.

Commenting on the latest news, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, said that it would contribute “to the Holy Father's mission to uphold the sacred responsibility to ensure the safety of young people”. Significant is the number of women on the board of this commission, making up half at the moment, one of whom is herself a survivor of child abuse. The Marie Collins Foundation is named after her and stands at the forefront of fighting for the well-being of children and their families affected by sexual abuse or harm via internet and mobile technologies.

Fr Lombardi also stressed that the Commission was desired by Pope Francis “continuing the undertaken by his predecessors, and having heard the advice of a number of cardinals, other members of the College of Bishops, and experts in the field”.