- Oct 29, 2020
A major challenge the planning committee for Pope Francis’s Feb. 21-24 summit on sex abuse will face is taking account of differing instincts inside a global Church.
A leading expert in the field of child protection has said a global summit of bishops addressing the issue in February will force prelates to accept the problem as a global phenomenon happening on their own turf, and voiced hope that there will be concrete follow-up to any proposals made.
Teresa Kettelkamp, a former head of the US bishops’ Child Protection Office and a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said it’s hard to hold your head high as a leader in the Church “seeing all the failures.”
In a 21st century digital world, children face exponentially greater risks of exploitation and abuse, said a panel on Wednesday during the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families.
The chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People said a two-year project to revise the charter that guides the U.S. Church in protecting minors from sexual abuse is nearly ready to be presented to the full body of bishops.
Teresa Kettelkamp, a former staffer for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and now a full member, says of the anti-abuse fight, “The Church is not failing on this issue, the Church is aggressively addressing it … People who want things to change faster are not realistic about how things change.”