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Rome Reports

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Vatican backs new sexual abuse research center

Three years ago, this university joined representatives from every episcopal conference in the world to crack down on sexual abuse by priests. From that union came the Center for Child Protection, which creates experts in prevention and detection of sexual abuse, as well as care for victims. From its headquarters in Munich, the Center has worked with thousands of people from parishes and Catholic schools in 10 countries. Now, it has relocated to Rome to expand its reach. P. HANS ZOLLNER President, Center for Child Protection "From the begining we tried to be at service especially to these countries where there is no education, no awareness or very little sensitivity and absolutely no means.â?  CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY President, Commission for the Protection of Minors "We are painfully aware that there are still many parts of the world where sexual abuse in the Church has not been adequatly addressed. We hope that the pontifical commision and the outstanding work organization like the center here, at the Gregorian University, will help to make a difference.â?  Cardinal Sean O'Malley read a supportive message from Pope Francis as the center enters its new phase. The idea is to involve organizations from several countries and to adapt its proposals locally. They believe that will make them more effective. KARLIJN DEMASURE Director, Center for Child Protection "We thought it has become a broad field and we want to form experts in the field.â?  P. HANS ZOLLNER President, Center for Child Protection "We must do justice to the victims, but we must also do everything possible to prevent things like this from happening again." The center is now preparing a new online training program and a specialization course starting next year. JMB/ATO MG VM - PR Up: AC