- Jan 21, 2021
According to a leading expert in the Catholic Church’s fight against clerical sexual abuse, the Vatican’s report into laicized ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick is “a good example of how seriously these whole questions of cover up and denial and non-compliance and insincerity should be dealt with,” and believes there are other similar reports to come.
Questions have been raised about the influence some lay groups exercise over their members and about how the church should determine whether the movement should be reformed or dissolved when there is abuse or corruption.
Father Hans Zollner, arguably one of the most prominent Church officials working on abuse prevention, says he understands the frustration some victims feel upon not seeing “immediate impact” from Rome on their cases, while at the same time underlining that “substantial change” has been made.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors met online and, for those who could, in Rome for their plenary assembly Sept. 16-18.
In reporting historical and recent abuse of minors, the media should broaden its focus to include portrayals of survivors as active agents of reform, one survivor said.
In a webinar talk on child protection, a top expert in the field warned that the risks of online child sexual abuse or exploitation has significantly increased during the coronavirus pandemic, yet attention to the issue has faded.