Becoming aware of the consequences

Becoming aware of the consequences

Pope Francis has appointed a committee to prepare for the worldwide bishops' meeting in February on dealing with abuse in the church. From Germany the psychologist and theologian Hans Zollner belongs to the team, as the Vatican communicates.

Jesuit to be committee's point person on dealing with abuse. Zollner heads the Center for Child Protection (CCP) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Also with external experts

In addition to Zollner, the meeting's preparatory committee includes Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Oswald Gracias of Bombay, as well as Malta's Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

Outside experts, women and men, also to contribute to shaping conference, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says. According to the report, their main purpose is to highlight what needs to be done for greater transparency and accountability. Representatives of victims of abuse are also involved in the preparations, as are the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children and the undersecretaries of the Vatican Office for Laity, Family and Life, Gabriella Gambino and Linda Ghisoni.

Bishops in responsibility

At the meeting of 21. to 24. February in Rome, the presidents of all bishops' conferences want to discuss better child protection in the church with the heads of curia and top representatives of religious orders. The goal of the meeting, which is unprecedented in its nature, is for church leaders to "develop a comprehensive awareness of the devastating consequences that clergy sexual abuse has on adolescents," Burke said. He said the meeting was primarily for bishops, who bear "much of the responsibility for this serious problem".

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