- Oct 29, 2020
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.
German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner has acknowledged that the decision of Australia’s top court to acquit Cardinal George Pell of child abuse might make it harder for victims to come forward, stressing that while justice must be respected, survivors should also be supported and believed.
One of the Catholic Church’s leading experts in child protection has said that more dangerous than clericalism in the clerical abuse crisis is a “paternalistic” attitude within the Church that both devalues laypeople and puts clergy on a pedestal.