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Vatican revives pope’s sexual abuse panel
February 18, 2018
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VATICAN CITY: The Vatican said on Saturday it has renewed its anti-paedophile panel as Pope Francis acts to quell the global scandal over the sexual abuse of children by priests.

The panel had come under fire from two high-profile members, former sex abuse victims who quit at what they saw as a lack of reform and obstruction at the highest level of the Catholic Church.

Victims have come forward from across the world over the past two decades accusing priests of sex crimes, unleashing one of the biggest crises faced by the Catholic Church.

US Cardinal Sean O’Malley was confirmed as the head of the child protection panel along with seven other incumbent members, while nine new members were added, the Vatican said.

“The newly-appointed members will add to the commission’s global perspective in the protection of minors and vulnerable adults,” O’Malley said in a statement.

“The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.”

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was set up in 2014 shortly after Francis was elected pope, but its work has come in for fierce criticism from some of its own members.

Marie Collins of Ireland, who was raped by a hospital chaplain at the age of 13, quit the panel in March last year in protest at what she said was the “shameful” blocking of reforms.

Briton Peter Saunders, another sex abuse victim, also left in 2016 after a row over the panel’s handling of allegations of serial abuse by an Italian priest.

Agence France-Presse
 

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