Catholic university steps up on abuse prevention – Pontiff
A specialised centre at Chile’s premier Catholic university can help the Church protect minors and vulnerable persons from the scourge of clerical sexual abuse, which has plagued the Church in the country and around the world, Pope Francis has said.
In a video message played on August 15 during the inaugural ceremony of the Centre for Investigation of Abuse and Early Prevention at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the Pope praised the centre’s aim to “not only take charge of various problems, of prevention and of abuse, but also of investigation, of looking for policies to continue saving minors from every form of abuse, every form of manipulation that in some way destroys their heart”.
“Through the use of all the auxiliary sciences you will utilise, you are focusing on the hearts of children, on the hearts of minors; to take care of the hearts of children,” he said.
The centre, which is also known by its acronym CUID” (‘CARE’), seeks to identify the structural, cultural, social and family aspects that allow abuse in childhood and adolescence, as well as those aspects that promote the protection of children and reparation of harm.
Vatican acknowledges Cardinal Pell court decision
The Vatican said it acknowledges the decision by the Court of Appeals in Victoria to uphold the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, while recalling the Australian prelate’s insistence of his innocence throughout the judicial process.
The conviction of Cardinal George Pell on five counts of abuse was upheld on August 21. After an appellate panel announced its decision at a court proceeding, the cardinal was returned to prison.
“While reiterating its respect for the Australian judicial system…the Holy See acknowledges the court’s decision to dismiss Cardinal Pell’s appeal,” Matteo Bruni, Holy See press office director, said last week.
Bruni stated that “as the proceedings continue to develop, the Holy See recalls that the cardinal has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court”.
Cardinal Pell’s legal team has said it will thoroughly examine the over 300-page judgment before deciding whether to petition the Australian High Court in Canberra. Bruni concluded his brief statement on August 21 by expressing the Holy See’s closeness to victims of sexual abuse and confirming its commitment to carry out appropriate ecclesiastical procedures against clergy who have committed abuse.
Church is damaged by ‘spiritual tourism’ – Pope Francis
Christians who focus more on being superficially close to the Church rather than care for their fellow brothers and sisters are like tourists who wander around aimlessly, Pope Francis has said.
People “who are always passing by but never enter the Church” in a fully communal way of sharing and caring engage in a sort of “spiritual tourism that makes them believe they are Christians but instead are only tourists of catacombs”, the Pope said during his weekly general audience.
“A life based only on profiting and taking advantage of situations to the detriment of others inevitably causes inner death,” he said. “And how many people say they are close to the Church, friends of priests and bishops yet only seek their own interests. These are the hypocrisies that destroy the Church.”
In his catechesis, the Pope continued his series of talks on the Acts of the Apostles, reflecting on the sharing of goods among the first Christian communities.