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A pontifical organization that ostensibly combats clergy sex abuse has a new home. Now sharing a building with a Jesuit publication in Rome, the group offers diplomas and degrees in what it calls "safeguarding."
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at the organization and its Jesuit leader from Germany.
Jesuit Hans Zollner founded the Center for Child Protection in 2012 with support from German cardinal Reinhard Marx.
The center's responsibilities now fall to the Pontifical Gregorian University's Institute of Anthropology: Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care, or IADC.
The Institute offers degrees in what it calls "safeguarding," which it more recently expanded to include protection for vulnerable adults.
Zollner remains in charge as president of the IADC, which, on June 15, moved to the fourth floor of Rome's Villa Malta, where it shares the edifice with La Civiltà Cattolica, a Jesuit publication.
In a 2020 interview, Zollner expressed sadness after reading those reports but went on to express other sentiments.
Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J.: "It is also a reading that gave me hope because something like that wouldn't have been possible three years ago. So, we have a step forward in the sense of transparency and we have a major step forward in looking into the responsibility and accountability."
Though the IADC often uses words like "safeguarding," "accountability" and "scientific," it almost never uses the words "homosexual" or "predation."
The word "homosexual" only appears in one paragraph of a single article from 2019.
That section reads: "Priests with an immature sexuality and poor psycho-affective maturity, together with a latent homosexual orientation which is repressed, become more at risk for abuse in a context of fear regarding homosexuality."
The U.S. bishops' conference's own investigative report reveals more than 80% of clergy sex abuse cases are homosexual in nature.
In 2020, the IADC offered a webinar titled "Safeguarding Online in Times of Lockdown." The webinar offered rather obvious observations without offering any concrete solutions.
Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J.: "The internet enables those who would harm children and vulnerable adults by making it easier for them to produce, access and share sexual abuse materials."
In a recent interview, Zollner seemed to feign ignorance regarding the "safeguarding" for which his institute offers advanced degrees.
He asserted, "After 40 years of public debate and public scandal in the media, we still don't know what is effective in safeguarding measures, scientifically speaking."
Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J.: "Religions can come together in the fight of sexual abuse of men, women and children."
The IADC's Francis-style pseudo-intellectual prattle accomplishes nothing.
Zollner is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a committee that advises the pope.