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Rome Reports

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What to expect from the upcoming Vatican Summit on Abuse

Fr. Hans Zollner is one of four clergymen appointed by Pope Francis to organize the Summit on Sexual Abuse beginning Feb. 21. He says while expectations have been swinging high to low, the mission has always been clear. 

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

“I think the understanding of the committee that is preparing this event and this meeting, as well as the Holy Father's expectations, are that we will do what will be possible now in three days and a half.

We will have to choose our focus for this meeting and that was clear from the beginning of the planning: the systemic side, the structural side, institutional side of abuse.  

In order to cover these well, Fr. Zollner said topics have been chosen for each day.

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

“The first day, responsibility of a bishop with regard to how to deal with victims, how to deal with perpetrators. Second day: accountability. To whom is responsible - the bishop accountable to or the provincial? To whom does he report and who can help him, hold him accountable? The third day about transparency. Transparency to the people of God and to the public.”

With these ideas, Summit organizers hope bishops and participants will leave knowing how to denounce abuse and how to act if cases are brought to them. Additionally, that they will teach others in their diocese to do the same.