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Pope Francis told a Vatican commission entrusted with rooting out clerical sex abuse to develop methods for the Church to protect minors. But, as Church Militant's Martina Moyski explains, many doubt if the commission's plans will be effective.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors wrapped up its plenary meeting on Friday. Pope Francis, in an address to the commission, urged, "I would like you to propose better methods to enable the Church to protect minors and vulnerable persons and to assist the healing of survivors."
He tasked the commission with several duties, including the preparation of an annual report outlining "the Church's initiatives for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults." He added, "This might be difficult at the beginning, but I ask you to begin where necessary in order to furnish a reliable account on what is presently being done and what needs to change."
However, people are concerned the commission's work, may be compromised from the beginning, since it has been absorbed into the Vatican's government. The commission's president — Boston cardinal Seán O'Malley — claimed in a press conference Friday the commission would function uninhibited.
Boston cardinal Seán O'Malley: "The Holy Father told us that the autonomy of the commission is meant to ensure the integrity of its expertise and especially its freedom to give advice to the Holy Father on these delicate matters."
Pope Francis' efforts to combat clerical sex abuse have been half hearted at best. The slow release of the McCarrick report and the holy father's support of South American bishops who covered up for abuse give no confidence.
After more than 40 years of clerical sex abuse and its cover up, Pope Francis dedicated only one weekend, in 2019, to discussing the abuse crisis. The issue of sodomite priests and religious was not mentioned.