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Pope will consider to remind bishops to respond directly to sex abuse victims

2016-02-08

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors asked the Pope to remind all bishops and authorities in the Church of the importance of responding directly to victims and survivors who approach them; and the finalization of a Universal Day of Prayer.

On Saturday, the commission asked one of its members, Peter Saunders of Great Britain, who was abused by a priest when he was young, to temporarily suspend his collaboration "to reflect on how he can best contribute to the work of the Commission.

In his first weeks of work, Peter Saunders threatened to leave the committee if he did not see any concrete action. He then requested the resignation of Cardinal George Pell. The prelate's record is currently under examination by an Australian royal court for failing to act with sufficient hardness to allegations of abuse when he was a young priest.

Peter Saunders also contested the appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno in Chile, because some suspected he hid information about the repeated abuses of the priest Fernando Karadima.

The commission stressed that its mission is not to analyze case by case reports, but to teach bishops how to do it and how to prevent vulnerable child and adults from abuse.