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Thursday, December 5, 2013


Vatican City, 5 December 2013 (VIS) – This morning's briefing on the work of the Council of Cardinals involved the extraordinary participation of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, who communicated the Pope's approval of a proposal submitted by the eight cardinals – the creation of a Commission for the protection of minors.

Continuing decisively along the lines undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI, and accepting a proposal presented by the Council of Cardinals, the Holy Father has decided to establish a specific Commission for the protection of minors, with the aim of advising Pope Francis on the Holy See’s commitment to the protection of children and in pastoral care for victims of abuse. Specifically, the Commission will study present programmes in place for the protection of children; formulate suggestions for new initiatives on the part of the Curia, in collaboration with bishops, Episcopal conferences, religious superiors and conferences of religious superiors; and indicate the names of persons suited to the systematic implementation of these new initiatives, including laypersons, religious and priests with responsibilities for the safety of children, in relations with the victims, in mental health, in the application of the law, etc.

The composition and competences of the Commission will be indicated shortly, with more details from the Holy Father in an appropriate document”.

The Cardinal went on to mention lines of action for the future Commission: guidelines for the protection of children, the development and extension of norms, procedures and strategies for the protection of children and the prevention of abuse of minors, educational programmes for children, parents, and all those who work with minors, guidelines for catechists, and for the formation of seminarians, the ongoing formation of priests, protocols for environmental safety codes of professional conduct, proof of suitability for priestly ministry, screening and checking of previous offences, the state of action of requests for psychiatric evaluation, co-operation with the civil authorities, reporting of crimes, compliance with civil law, communications regarding clergy declared guilty, pastoral care for victims and their families, spiritual assistance, mental health services, collaboration with experts in the research and development of the prevention of abuse of minors, psychology, sociology, legal sciences; collaboration with bishops and religious superiors, optimisation of procedures, implementation of laws and guidelines, relations with the faithful and with means of communication, encounters with victims, supervision and rehabilitation of clergy guilty of abuse.

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., subsequently communicated that the work of the Council, which will be concluded this afternoon, continued its examination of the various congregations of the Roman Curia yesterday and this morning.

The Pope participated in the meetings held yesterday afternoon and this morning”, said Fr. Lombardi, clarifying that Pope Francis is well and that yesterday's meeting with the cardinal archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, who accompanied a delegation from EXPO MILAN 2015, was cancelled as the Holy Father was tired following the general audience celebrated in St. Peter's Square and therefore preferred to postpone the event to a more suitable occasion.


Vatican City, 5 December 2013 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Archbishop Theophile Georges Kassab of Homs (Hama-Nabk), Syria on 22 October at the age of 68.

- Bishop Anthony Joseph Burgess, emeritus of Wewak, Papua New Guinea on 23 October at the age of 75.

- Bishop Raymond Mwanyika, emeritus of Njombe, Tanzania on 24 October at the age of 83.

- Bishop Joaquín José Morón Hidalgo of Acarigua-Araure, Venezuela on 30 October at the age of 71.

- Archbishop Bruno Bertagna, vice president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, on 31 October at the age of 78.
- Bishop Vasco Giuseppe Bertelli, emeritus of Volterra, Italy on 2 November at the age of 89.

- Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, deacon of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Via Lata, Rome on 11 November at the age of 96.

- Archbishop Onesimo Cadiz Gordoncillo, emeritus of Capiz, Philippines on 13 November at the age of 78.

- Bishop Joseph Frans Lescrauwaet, M.S.C., auxiliary emeritus of Haarlem, Netherlands on 19 November at the age of 90.

- Archbishop Matthias N’Garteri Mayadi of N’Djaména, Chad on 19 November at the age of 71.

- Bishop Pierre Jacques Joatton, Ist. del Prado, emeritus of Saint-Etienne, France on 22 November at the age of 83.

- Bishop William Jerome McCormack, auxiliary emeritus of New York, U.S.A., on 23 November at the age of 89.

- Bishop David Bernard Thompson, emeritus of Charleston, U.S.A., on 24 November at the age of 90.

- Bishop Zéphyrin Toe, emeritus of Dedougou, Burkina Faso on 25 November at the age of 84.

- Bishop Max Georg von Twickel, auxiliary emeritus of Munich, Germany on 28 November at the age of 87.

- Bishop Waldyr Calheiros Novaes (de Novais), emeritus of Barra do Piraí-Volta Redonda, Brazil on 30 de November at the age of 90.

- Bishop Fernando Sabogal Viana, auxiliary of Bogota, Colombia on 1 December at the age of 72.

- Bishop Antonio Lino da Silva Dinis, of Itumbiara, Brazil on 1 December at the age of 70.
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