The Vatican

New agreement signed for the protection of minors

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Dicastery for the Clergy signed a cooperation and information exchange agreement on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Loreto Rios-May 31, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

Cardinals O'Malley and Lazarus You Heung-Sik during the signing of the agreement ©Vatican Media

The May 26 agreement is the second of its kind signed between the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and a curial institution.

On the part of the Dicastery, the agreement is signed by Prefect Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik and, on the part of the Commissionby Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

Main points of the agreement

The document highlights three main aspects of common interest. Firstly, it is proposed to create listening spaces for victims and for people who report cases of abuse.

The second point that has been emphasized is the collaboration in the protection of content according to the Ratio NationalisThe document, "a document elaborated and adopted by each particular church that regulates all aspects of priestly formation, adapting them to the local cultural context.

Finally, the agreement has pointed out that it seeks to facilitate the training of the clergy, who, by virtue of their ministry, can do the most to prevent cases.

Open communication channels

According to the statement on the signing of the agreement issued by the Vatican, "the collaboration between the entities of the Roman Curia will provide information for the Commission's Annual Report, as requested by the Holy Father in his April 2022 private audience with the PCPM and reiterated in the May 2023 private audience. Cardinal O'Malley stated: 'This second Cooperation Agreement marks another encouraging milestone for the Commission in its new position within the Curia.

This agreement with the Dicastery for the Clergy allows us to open important channels of communication with the office in the service of the formation of our priests around the world. Priests and deacons are perhaps the most visible face of the daily life of the Church, so it is essential to ensure that their lives and ministry are subject to good policies and procedures regarding the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people'".

Prevention practices

On the other hand, the communiqué indicates that the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy, the Korean cardinal Lazarus You Heung-SikThe Holy Father has welcomed this increased collaboration: 'Our commitment in this difficult area of the Church's ministry is further expressed by today's cooperation agreement. We hope, through our joint efforts, to deepen our understanding of the impact of abuse on victims and how best to accompany them, as well as to offer best practices of prevention and assistance to our priests who are called, as Pope Francis has said, to be Apostles of Safeguarding for their communities.'"

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