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Experts from Africa and Asia to join Vatican's Commission for Protection of Minors

In the past 10 years, the Vatican defrocked 848 priests for case of sexual abuse. For Father Hans Zollner, member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors, these figures talk about a harsh reality, but also about hope. FR. HANS ZOLLNER Commission for the Protection of Minors "These numbers show that the reforms of the judicial system inside the Church are working. It should be added that now we can see the positive outcome of Pope Benedict's determination. We can see that justice is being handed out." But as this German priest explains, the Pontifical Commission has a lot of work ahead. First, it must try to meassure the scope of the abuses committed by Churchmen worldwide. That's why it's considering including members from Africa and Asia. FR. HANS ZOLLNER Commission for the Protection of Minors "Sexual abuses happen everywhere: in all countries. Maybe not in all dioceses and religious congregations, but we do have data from all countries in the world. One of our goals now is making the Church worldwide aware of this issue." "Making people aware� is synonymous with preventing sexual abuses from happening in the future. Still, the Commision cannot forget the past: the victims that already suffered from it. FR. HANS ZOLLNER Commission for the Protection of Minors "We try to suggest things that seem basic, but that should be obvious anyway. For instance, defining from a canonical point of view the responsibility of a bishop or provincial who was negligent in handling an accused abuser.� Father Zollner remembered that usually it takes years for a victim to report abuse. He added that thanks to recent measures, complaints decreased significantly. That's a good reason, he said, to follow the path traced by this new Pontifical Commission. JRB AA/RR VM -PR Up: MAE #Vaticano