Vatican City, Sep 14, 2016 / 02:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have been invited to address the trainings for new Catholic bishops held at the Vatican. Commission members would address the training sessions for new bishops held by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and another training for new bishops held by the Congregation for Bishops, the commission said in a Sept. 12 press release.
The anti-abuse commission will also address a meeting of the Congregation for the Clergy. Commission members have also been invited to address the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and the Congregation for Consecrated Life.
In February 2016, Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi criticized media reports he said falsely claimed the Vatican is telling new bishops they don’t have to report sex abuse. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors met in Rome Sept. 5-11 for its plenary assembly and for working group meetings on guidelines, healing and care, education, formation, theology and spirituality, canonical and civil norms.
The meetings focused on updates for current projects and developing draft proposals for Pope Francis. The commission plans to present to Pope Francis a template for guidelines to safeguard and protect children, adolescents and young adults. “These initiatives are part of the Commission’s effort to be of service to the Holy Father by placing their expertise at the disposition of local churches and church leaders,” the commission said. “Commission members have also been invited to give talks and take part in various conferences and workshops on all five continents.”
The plenary assembly included members’ reports on the progress of education programs at the local level and at the Vatican. These programs aim to provide the commission’s help to local churches and church leaders. Commission members have held talks and workshops in Australia’s Archdiocese of Melbourne, in the United States for Safe Environment and Victims’ Assistance Coordinators, and the Anglophone Safeguarding Conference held in Italy. Other talks and workshops have been held in South Africa, in the Philippines, in Colombia and other parts of the world.
The commission’s recent meetings heard a suggestion from survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest who asked that there be a Day of Prayer for abuse victims. Pope Francis has also asked national bishops’ conferences to choose an appropriate day to pray for survivors and victims of sex abuse. “The Commission was happy to learn that many Bishops Conferences have already taken steps to enact the proposal,” the group said. “The Commission believes that prayer is one part of the healing process for survivors and the community of believers.”