January 17, 2018.
We Are Church International, a coalition of 22 Catholic reform organizations from six continents, is calling on Pope Francis to immediately reauthorize the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. This Commission, which oversees the Church’s efforts to ensure the safety of children, has been suspended due to the Pope’s failure to reauthorize it after its original three-year commission expired.
Sigrid Grabmeier, Chair of We Are Church International, said, “It is crucially important for the good of the entire Church that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors be reinstated right away. We just saw Pope Francis apologize to survivors of clerical sexual abuse during his travels in Chile. Allowing the Commission to lapse undermines the sincerity of his words, and makes it seem that the protection of children is a low priority for our Church. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors also has a critical role in ensuring that bishops and cardinals who are guilty of covering up and facilitating clerical abuse are brought to justice. Catholics throughout the world are deeply committed to ensuring that our children are protected from sexual abuse and other dangers. We need our Church officials to take quick action to correct this lapse in the Commission’s operations.”
We Are Church International has repeatedly called for a clear focus on addressing the issue of clerical sexual abuse and the protection of abusers by bishops in many countries, and by the Vatican. Rectifying these sins and providing appropriate care and compensation to the survivors of this abuse and their families, as well as holding those complicit in these cases accountable, are necessary steps for our Church to regain its moral authority. The well-being of children must always be our church’s highest priority. Reinstating the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and ensuring it has the resources and Papal support needed to accomplish its goals are key steps in reflecting this value.
We Are Church International (WACI) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.