Pope Francis reactivates abuse commission

What happened?

Pope Francis has revived the Vatican commission on child protection, as an investigation into a Chile abuse scandal continues. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has a five-year term, which came to an end in December. But the Pope has renewed its term, with some changes in membership. The 16 members – half lay, half clergy – include members from around the world, with Tonga, Brazil, Ethiopia and Australia all represented.

What the secular media are saying

Nicole Winfield of Associated Press argued that the commission had to prove that the Vatican was really on board with a “victims first” approach. “There have been several well-known cases,” Winfield claimed, where the Pope and the Vatican “sided with the accused over victims”.

Speaking to the Irish Times, former commission member Marie Collins expressed concern that “some of the most hard-working, independent, and active members” had not been reappointed, such as the psychologists Catherine Bonnet and Baroness Hollins. They had been leading groups devoted to improving care for abuse survivors. “They were half-way through their work, and I’m worried these groups may now be scrapped,” Collins said. “There is no group in the commission for survivors.”

What Catholic media said

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