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Cardinal O'Malley: We must respond to and prevent abuse

2015-02-09

Cardinal Sean O'Malley explained how the Vatican Commission for the protection of minors is progressing. Ten working groups will propose measures to the Pope about the responsibility of bishops, how to treat victims or the education of priests.

CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY
Archbishop of Boston (US)
"It's not just about how to respond in the face of an accusation. But to also have child safety and child safety programs, and education programs. And it's also about prevention.” 

The Vatican wants to help end abuses within the Church but also outside of it. The cardinal cited the United States as an example. In U.S. Catholic schools children learn to recognize abuse and tell an adult.

CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY
Archbishop of Boston (US)
"You see that maybe 75, 80 percent, of sexual abuse takes place in homes. And in today's world, where more and more people, are in situations of serial cohabitation, very often it´s the partner abusing the children that´s becoming more and more of a problem. But we need studies. There aren't a lot of studies on the causes of this or the incidences".

The Commission is counting on support from victims of abuse. The Cardinal sat with Peter Saunders. Marie Collins was in the audience. Both said the Vatican must be willing to take action against bishops or they will walk away from the group.

PETER SAUNDERS
Vatican Commission for the protection of minors
"There have been far too many clergy protected, moved from place to place. This has got to be consigned to history very, very quickly and if in a year or two there isn´t some firm action on those matters, then I don't think I'll been sitting talking to you. We are not here for lip service, we are here to protect our children, and our children´'s children”. 

MARIE COLLINS 
Vatican Commission for the protection of minors
"Personally? I think that probably would mirror what Peter said there. If we don't really have bishop accountability within the next year, or the next two years at least, if we don't have something solid in place, I don't know that I would want to remain on the commission.  As he said, you probably wouldn't find him here. You wouldn´t find me here either. And that's a survivor point of view”.

The commission will propose a Day of Prayer for the victims of abuse to raise awareness of the problem locally. They will also continue to work in groups until next October, when they plan to meet again at the Vatican.


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