Cupich Zollner Regaining TRUST
In their first interview since Pope Francis named them among the leaders of a new worldwide task force on sexual abuse protections, Cardinal Blase Cupich and the Rev. Hans Zollner this week sketched out how they plan to help Catholic leaders across the world comply with new protection guidelines.
The task force was created by Francis to help bishops write new local guidelines to adhere to universal church rules issued last year.
Zollner, who heads the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, called the latest move by Francis “unprecedented,” as it is the first time the pope has taken measures to ensure rules to protect children are quickly adopted and practiced around the world.
“This is the first time the (pope) has taken into his own hands the speeding up of the process,” Zollner said in an interview he and Cupich gave Monday to the Tribune.
Zollner was in Chicago for his first appearances following the creation of the task force: a talk with Chicago priests and a lecture at DePaul University.
During his lecture Monday night, Zollner spoke about the challenges the church faces as it works to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
“Sexual abuse is very powerful in its consequences and its outcomes,” Zollner said. “I believe as long as we don’t acknowledge that, we have to live with the burden; we’re not as free as we could be.”