At the conclusion of the Protection of Minor’s summit, Pope Francis presented eight points the Church will focus on in an “All-Out Battle” against abuse.
Last September Pope Francis called for an unprecedented meeting taking place February 21st to the 24th, summoning presidents of Bishops Conferences around the world to discuss the sex abuse abuse scandal that has rocked the Church.
On Sunday, the final day of the Protection of Minor’s summit, Pope Francis outlined eight steps for an “all-out battle against the abuse of minors both sexually and in other areas, on the part of all authorities and individuals.”
The eight guidelines were formulated by looking at “best practices” based off the “Seven Strategies for Ending Violence against Children” by the World Heath Organization along with work by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and contributions made by the “Protection of Minors” Meeting.
The eight guidelines can be summarized as follows (CNA):
1. A “change of mentality” to focus on protecting children rather than “protecting the institution.”
2. A recognition of the “impeccable seriousness” of these “sins and crimes of consecrated persons.”
3. A genuine purification beginning with “self-accusation.”
4. Positive formation of candidates for the priesthood in the virtue of chastity.
5. Strengthening and reviewing of guidelines by episcopal conferences, reaffirming the need for “rules.”
6. The accompaniment of those who have been abused with an emphasis on listening.
7. Ensure that seminarians and clergy are not enslaved to an addiction to pornography.
8. Combat sexual tourism around the world.
Pope Francis reiterated the Church’s commitment to eradicating abuse, saying “the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case of abuse of minors.”
Concluding the Protection of Minor’s meeting with his “heartfelt appeal for an all-out battle against abuse,” Pope Francis said the Church’s aim will
“thus be to hear, watch over, protect and care for abused, exploited and forgotten children, wherever they are. To achieve that goal, the Church must rise above the ideological disputes and journalistic practices that often exploit, for various interests, the very tragedy experienced by the little ones.”