Pope Francis Names Eight Members Of First Anti-Child Abuse Panel

Pope Francis has received a lot of criticism for not addressing the sex-abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. According to the Huffington Post, the Vatican announced in December that Pope Francis decided to create the first anti-child abuse panel, also known as the sex abuse commission, which would advise him on sex abuse policy.

The new sex abuse commission reportedly would help advise the Pope and the church on best policies to protect children, train church personnel and keep abusers out of the clergy. Saturday, the Pope announced the initial eight members of the commission who will help begin planning the commission’s tasks and priorities.

ABC News reported that the eight new members of the sex abuse commission include not only religious experts, but also a woman who was assaulted as a child by a priest. The new panel is reportedly made up of four men and four women. According to the Wall Street Journal, the eight members announced Saturday include the following:

“Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a cleric in the 1960s and is a leading campaigner on the issue in Ireland, and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who spearheaded that city’s response to the problem. Poland’s former prime minister, a prominent British psychologist and an expert in canon law were also among those named.”

As stated earlier, this new sex abuse commission was created in response to the negative media the Vatican and the Pope were receiving for not directly addressing the current sex abuse scandals surrounding the Catholic Church.

In an earlier report by The Inquisitr, one of the issues that had many skeptical of this new commission is the fact that the Vatican wasn’t speaking on how they would be handling information on nuns, monks, and priests who allegedly abused minor. Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org had said at the time, “The world is starting to wonder if Pope Francis has forgotten the crisis.”

“[He] must address publicly the problems of clergy sexual abuse and its mismanagement with the same candor he has shown on a range of topics, from homosexuality to mediocre homilies. He has shown zest in ridding the Vatican of financial corruption. He must apply the same energy and determination toward ridding the church of bishops who have enabled abuse.”

According to the Huffington Post, the Vatican may have hinted that they will start looking into these issues. The report stated that in a statement Saturday, the Vatican said that the commission would look into both “civil and canonical duties and responsibilities” for church personnel.

Now that Pope Francis has announced the initial members of the Catholic Churches first sex abuse commission, it would seem like the topic of sex abuse within the church is finally going to be not only recognized, but addressed. What do you think of the Pope’s new anti-child abuse panel?

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