Pope Francis decided to create a Vatican commission for the protection of minors, a cardinal involved in Curial reform announced this week.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told reporters on Thursday that the eight member Council of Cardinals which advises the pope on curial reform, had proposed the creation of a commission for the protection of minors.
According to the cardinal, the proposal was made on Wednesday. On Thursday morning Pope Francis “told us very clearly that he was accepting this proposal,” the cardinal said.
The new commission would advise the pope on how “the protection of minors” and pastoral care of victims of abuse. The commission would study the programs already in place and suggest new initiatives. Although details were not yet clear, Cardinal O’Malley said the commission would propose new initiatives “in collaboration with the bishops and the Episcopal conferences, and conferences of religious superiors.”
The commission would be made up of members from different parts of the world. Although details had not been determined yet, Cardinal O’Malley suggested the commission could have 12 members.
Asked if the creation of the commission would mean the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would no longer handle abuse allegations, Cardinal O’Malley said the intent was that the commission would work with CDF.
Although the commission would review the way the church cooperates with civil authorities, the cardinal said the Holy See wanted to identify best practices, but local bishops had the duty to respond to allegations brought to their attention.
The Vatican’s spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, said specific details would be finalized and an official document would be issued by the Holy Father to formally establish the commission and name members