Child Safeguarding Protocols Not Being Evenly Applied?

Feb 23, 2024 | 0 comments

Hans Zollner SJ

The Catholic Church currently has “no mechanism to monitor” the implementation of safeguarding norms and protocols globally, according to Hans Zollner SJ, a papal adviser on child safeguarding and director of the Institute of Anthropology at the Gregorian University in Rome.

“More broadly, the norms adopted by Rome indicate the right direction, but we currently have no mechanism to monitor their implementation.

“In some countries, bishops have resigned following dysfunctions. In others, not.”

Interviewed by La Croix International, Fr Zollner goes on to ask:

“What happens when a bishop is guilty of not reporting sexual abuse to Rome? Who takes care of this? Who investigates it? Who is responsible for it in Rome? And with what consequences?”

In March 2023 Fr Zollner resigned from the Papal Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors, citing concerns about funding and lack of clarity regarding the relationship between the commission and the Vatican body that adjudicates on reports of sexual abuse from around the world, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF).

To read the complete La Croix interview with Hans Zollner SJ, click here.


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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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