- Apr 4, 2020
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.
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, one of the world’s leading experts on safeguarding minors, said the church is suffering “institutional trauma” from clerical sexual abuse, trauma that it must learn to integrate into its theology and understanding of salvation if it is to overcome it.
The Vatican office that grants official recognition to international Catholic lay movements and organizations ordered the groups to develop detailed child-protection guidelines and norms for handling allegations of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
Exactly one year after Pope Francis’s historic Feb. 21-24 abuse summit, attended by the presidents of all episcopal conferences worldwide, both survivors and experts muse on what the institution has accomplished, and what has yet to be done.
Almost 200 people filled the Driscoll Hall Auditorium on Villanova University’s campus Jan. 29 looking to deepen their understanding about global perspectives on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
When Pope Francis in a landmark move eliminated the so-called “pontifical secret” in clerical abuse cases on Tuesday, the decision turns out to be at least one instance when the Vatican, clerical abuse survivors and experts in child protection all agree.