Friday, December 09, 2016

Vatican first: Holy See launches child protection website

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTgIpBQHrq8CephUBmICO3BCxyQL909a5fVKj4zDJZlzVFfbxJFewThe Vatican has launched a new website detailing its efforts to protect children from sexual abuse by clergy, including guidelines for verifying people's identities when recruiting clergy. 

It's the first time the Vatican is publishing the documents and resources in one place, including an email and phone number to contact its Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which was established in 2013.

"It is very important to the Commission that we are as transparent as possible," project coordinator Emer McCarthy told CNN. "Our members want people to know that they are doing their level best to carry out the commission of the Holy Father."

"Much of the work of the Commission is listening, study and reflection, so there will not be day-to-day updates, but the website is the vehicle to let people know that we are here," she added.

The website includes a template for local churches around the world to use in establishing their own norms for protecting minors from clerical sex abuse.

McCarthy said the website aims to reach communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia, which have received less attention about child abuse than congregations in the United States and Europe have.

The guidelines include verifying people's identities when recruiting clergy, employees and volunteers for Church activities, and vetting them for criminal records.

The website also recommends "full information sharing" when priests are seeking to transfer from one diocese to another.

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