Archbishop Coleridge on Vatican meeting in February
I welcome Pope Francis’ decision to convene a meeting of the presidents of Bishops Conferences to discuss the Church’s ongoing efforts to address the immense harm caused by sexual abuse.
Such a meeting is unusual, but it is appropriate and justified as the Church internationally must stand united to eliminate this evil from our midst.
As the Australian bishops and leaders of Catholic religious orders said last month, so must the universal Church say as one: Never again.
I will go to Rome armed with our understanding gained from decades working to eliminate child sexual abuse and the toxic cultures that allowed it to happen. I will also go with the stories of survivors in my heart and the many things we have learnt from the Royal Commission.
The meeting in February will be no quick fix, but it is a step in the right direction and may be able to suggest to Pope Francis further steps to be taken.
Pope to meet with Bishops to discuss protection of minors
Pope Francis will meet in February with representatives of all the Catholic bishops of the world in order to discuss the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.
Pope Francis has convened the Presidents of all the Episcopal Conferences of the whole world for a meeting in Rome to discuss the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
The announcement was made by the Vice-director of the Holy See Press Office, Paloma García Ovejero, at a press briefing on the meeting of the Council of Cardinal Advisers, which concluded Wednesday morning.
Meeting on prevention of abuse
A communiqué by from the Council of Cardinals gave further details. The meeting with the Pope will take place in the Vatican from 21-24 February 2019. The Cardinals’ statement noted that during this week’s reunion, the Council had “reflected fully together with the Holy Father on the issue of abuse.”
Wednesday’s press briefing was dedicated to a review of this week’s meeting of the Council of Cardinal Advisors. Ovejero noted that all the members of the Council were present, with the exception of Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. Pope Francis participated fully in the work of the Cardinals, although he was absent at certain points on account of other official duties.
Reform of the Curia
According to the Vicedirector, “A large part of the work of the Council was dedicated to the final adjustments to the draft of the new Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, which has for a provisional title Praedicate evangelium.” A copy of the provisional text has been delivered to the Holy Father, with the expectation that the document will be reviewed in terms of canon law, and subject to further revision.
During the meetings of the Council, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., updated those present on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Finally, the Cardinals once again expressed their full solidarity with Pope Francis with regard to what has happened in the last weeks.