- Aug 12, 2020
As the Vatican deals with criticism of its handling of the case of a papal diplomat recalled to Rome from Washington facing allegations of child pornography use both in the U.S. and Canada, it’s backing a major summit at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University this week designed to tackle the growing problem of child vulnerability in an internet age.
German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, who leads a child protection center at a Roman university and serves on a papal commission advising Francis on reform, says the Vatican should have been more transparent about recent reports that an envoy at the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., is part of an investigation for possible involvement in child pornography, seeing it as part of an going struggle to be more “up-front.”
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a leading anti-abuse expert and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, called a report documenting hundreds of cases of physical and sexual abuse at a German boys’ choir “shocking,” and warned that as the taboo lifts in other parts of the world, similar accounts are likely to keep emerging.
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection at the Gregorian University, believes that the church’s typical top-down approach in handling sex-abuse allegations may not be enough. He proposes a global alliance comprised by individual priests, religious and laity along with Catholic universities, religious orders and bishops’ conferences.