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Half of the Members of the New Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors Are Men and Half Are Women

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 01.10.2022).- Published on Friday, September 30, was the appointment oof new members of the Church’s Commission concerned with the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults in the Church.

Pope Francis appointed new members, enlarging the Commission for the safeguarding of minors to 20 professionals from five Continents. The new team has the task to implement the Commission’s third mandate under the direction of Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, and of the Secretary, the Reverend Andrew Small, O.M.I.

In this connection, Cardinal O’Malley said:

The announcement made of the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors marks one more step to make our Church an ever safer place for children and vulnerable persons. I congratulate the new members and those that have been re-elected and I thank them for their willingness to serve.

Coming from all over the world, with a varied formation and a common passion for the wellbeing of children and vulnerable persons, among the members announced today are defenders and professionals of prevention and protection in numerous realms in which the Church carries out her ministry with children. The Holy Father has appointed ten new members of the Commission, seven women and three men. Added to them are the nine members that have been re-elected and a member who was appointed last year for a three-year mandate. 

Geographic Composition and Other Data

Half of the Commission’s members are men and half are women. Six members come from Asia/Oceania and six from Europe, with four from America and four from Africa. There are three Bishops, three women religious and two priests who join 10 members of the lay faithful and two members of other Christian Churches. 

Among the Commission’s members there are representatives of Canon Law, of social work, of medical and psychological professions, of the Forces of Order and the Judiciary, as well as experts in pastoral care that work at present in dioceses and Religious Congregations. They have all dedicated a great part of their life to listening and supporting victims/survivors of sexual abuses by the clergy and personnel of the Church. 

In his address to the Commission, Pope Francis affirmed its independence while working ever more closely with the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, reporting on the work of the Dicastery, the Curia and vice versa.

The Holy Father also requested that a system of annual reports be established on the efforts in the matter of prevention and safeguarding, so that lacunae can be identified and improvements made in following up progress. The members of the Commission appointed are a sure sign that the mandate of prevention and protection established by the Holy Father,  in the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, will be extended to all parts of the Church.