Vatican summit to create child protection task force

A task force made up of child protection experts, operating on every continent, will be established at the conclusion of the Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse from February 21-24.

That’s according to a Cath News report quoting Jesuit Fr Hans Zollner, a member of the summit’s four-person organising committee, who said a task force was just one of a number of concrete measures the Church wanted to offer the bishops of the world.

“One of our main ideas is that this encounter is another step along a long journey that the Church has begun and that will not end with this meeting (summit),” Fr Zollner said. 

The task force would operate for many years in line with the Church’s recognition of its responsibility when it came to transparency and the safeguarding of minors from abuse, Fr Zollner said.

“It will probably be instituted in the various continents where the Church is present and will be able to find out about the guidelines that the bishops’ conferences are about to implement, what point they are at in this process and what they may need,” he said.

“The different teams of the task force should be able to help, for years to come, to measure the success of this exercise of realising one's own responsibility - even on the global level - in the face of public expectations.”

Fr Zollner said organisers hoped all those who attended the summit would clearly understand current norms and the issue of responsibility and transparency when it came to protecting minors from abuse and would “truly be able to implement what has been talked about”.

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