‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’ summit at the Vatican starts today and will go on for three days where the Pope called the world’s Bishops to the Vatican with the idea that the Church must send a clear message of its commitment to the protection of minors from sexual abuse. Catholic Voices Malta (CV) spoke of the theme, ‘Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency’ in a statement.
“The Church is seeking to send a clear message of its commitment to protect minors,” said CV, “and that this has to be done in a clear and effective manner by the entire community, starting with those in the highest positions of responsibility.” It was also mentioned that a number of other scandals are also coming to light, but that they are all rooted in the same abuses that come with clericalism. The Pope himself said that, “to say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to clericalism.”
The defrocking of former Cardinal McCarrick is proof of the Pontiff’s “zero-tolerance policy” even for those in the highest ranks of the Church. The statement added that, in fact, the theme of ‘Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency’ is all about a “reform of the quality of leadership in the Church through an internal conversion”. On Sunday, Pope Francis also asked Catholics to pray for the summit: “a powerful gesture of pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time.”
CV detailed that the 190 participants in the Vatican Synod Hall will hear nine reports, three a day, and each intervention has a question and answer session. Members of the Organising Committee will be meeting representatives of the victims and survivors’ associations. Pope Francis will open with an introductory address today, and close it on Sunday after Mass. A Penitential Liturgy will also be broadcast live Saturday afternoon.
The official website of the Summit is www.pbc2019.org and this will remain active even after the Meeting is over.