The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] concluded its XI Ordinary Plenary Assembly, held September 12th to 15th in Rome.
As in the past, the Plenary Assembly began its session on Friday morning by listening to a powerful testimony of pain, brokenness, healing and forgiveness from a Brazilian man, who suffered both familial and clerical abuse. The Commission has this listening before every Plenary to serve as a reminder for the Commission members why they are here and their mission for the Catholic Church.
Members were present in Rome prior to the commencement of the Plenary Session of the Commission to attend other significant gatherings, which highlighted a key element in the Commission’s work of building relationships with the various dicasteries, unions and departments within the Holy See to facilitate the work of Safeguarding at all levels within the Church. There is a continuing need for the culture and mission of Safeguarding to be, and to be seen to be, systemically embedded into the life of the Church across the globe.
The Pontifical Commission carries out its efforts in three specific Working Groups: Working with Survivors, Formation and Education, and Safeguarding Guidelines and Norms. The following is a summary of some of the initiatives:
Our work with survivors continues, through a variety of strategies, to develop platforms for the Church to listen to the voices of people who have been abused and work toward integrating the voices of victims/survivors into the life and mission of the Church. Pilot Survivor Advisory Panel programs are up and running on three continents with another being finalised on a fourth continent.
Fazendas da Esperança are also being used as foundations for Survivor Advisory Panels as well as vehicles for healing and reconciliation for those who have been abused.
Members continue to offer formation and Education in a variety of ways and throughout the world in response to requests from Episcopal Conferences, individual dioceses, Institutes for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Ecclesial Movements and Associations. Furthermore, the PCPM is preparing expert colloquia and major educational conferences.
The work on Safeguarding Guidelines and Norms has led to several of the initiatives, including the development and continued refinement of an audit tool. Also following recent legislation, the emerging significance of the concept of vulnerable adult, in particular its definition, has been given attention.
In view of this particular moment in the Church’s history and the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors renews its unwavering commitment to contribute to a world that is safe for children and vulnerable persons.
The XI Ordinary Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors took place in Rome September 12-15, 2019.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was created by Pope Francis in March of 2014 to propose the most opportune initiatives for the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults and to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches.
For more information on the work of the Pontifical Commission visit our website at www.protectionofminors.va