From the beginning of our work, the Commission Members have adopted the principle that the healing and pastoral care of victims/survivors of sexual abuse is of primary importance to our work.
The first way for us all to learn how to protect minors and vulnerable adults is to meet with victims/survivors and to listen to them. Listening is an important part of the healing process for the victims/survivors, but also for their families, communities, and for the entire Church.
Victims/survivors, more than anyone else, can also teach us how to prevent future abuse. One of the specially dedicated “working groups” of the Commission focuses on initiatives and projects aimed at improving pastoral outreach to the victims/survivors, families and faith communities that have been wounded by child clerical sex abuse.
All the Members have emphasized the mission to offer advice to the Holy Father on ways to improve response mechanisms and communication channels with victims and survivors in local Churches.
This advice includes suggestions to local Churches for their policies on responding to complaints of abuse, for meeting victims/survivors, and resources for a Day of Prayer:
- RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE
- ADVICE FOR MEETING WITH VICTIMS/SURVIVORS
- HEALING THROUGH PRAYER
- POPE FRANCIS HOMILY TO SURVIVORS, 7th JULY 2014
- HOW TO CONTACT THE COMMISSION