The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, led by new chair Cardinal Sean O’Malley, met in the middle of April for the first time.
Some good news that came out of the first meeting was a new focus on the voices of survivors. As reported by Elise Harris in The National Catholic Register on April 24, 2018, Pope’s Abuse Prevention Commission Prioritizes Survivors, Education (excerpt):
… the first day of their plenary was dedicated to hearing thoughts and testimonies from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, many of them members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of England and Wales.
Those who attended voiced appreciation for being listened to and described the encounter as “empowering.”
One of the survivors, according to the statement, voiced hope that their visit would help the commission “develop a wider network of survivors who are willing to advise and support” the commission’s work in a similar manner.
Deborah Kloos was also able to meet with the Commission during her visit to Europe. Her refrain for more public prayer continued (excerpt):
… clerical abuse survivor Deborah Kloos, who is not a member of the SAP but met with commission members during the plenary, said the Church needs to pray regularly for victims of clerical sexual abuse.
“It is something very important to me that our Catholic Church prays together for people wounded by abuse, because so many were wounded under the roof of the Church,” she said, asking the Pope to lead the Church in praying for those who have been abused.
The wound of abuse, she said, affects survivors “their entire life, and it separates them from the Eucharist.”
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