Pope Francis abolishes pontifical

Is Vatican anti-abuse task force ‘Tale of Two Cities’ or ‘Remembrance of Things Past’?

Vatican Pope anti-abuse taskforce

Title: Is Vatican anti-abuse task force ‘Tale of Two Cities’ or ‘Remembrance of Things Past’?

Author: John L. Allen Jr.

Publisher: Crux

Date: 29FEB2020

ROME – Anyone watching the Vatican under Pope Francis try to come to grips with the clerical sexual abuse crisis could be forgiven for feeling themselves trapped in A Tale of Two Cities, constantly oscillating between the best and worst of times.

Friday brought another chapter in that long-running drama, as the Vatican presented a new high-level task force intended to help national and regional bishops’ conferences around the world, as well as religious orders, to develop and update guidelines on child protection and the fight against abuse.

From a glass-half-full perspective, this is a further sign, one year after an historic summit to discuss the abuse crisis with the presidents of all the bishops’ conferences of the world, that Francis is serious about reform. This task force is designed to harness the entire resources of the Roman Curia, and it’s a signal that Francis wants episcopal conferences and religious orders to be in earnest about having policies.

The taskforce comes with heft, including the Vatican’s sostituto, or “substitute,” effectively the chief of staff, Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra; Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago; Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, perhaps the most respected reformer on the abuse issue at the senior levels of the Church; and Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, who heads the Centre for Child Protection at Rome’s Gregorian University and is also seen as a reform champion.

The lineup also features Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, a respected canonist, and Jesuit Father Federico Lombardo, a highly regarded former papal spokesman under Benedict XVI (and briefly Francis) and also the moderator of last year’s summit, as well as Andrew Azzopardi, who teaches in the Department of Youth and Community Studies at the University of Malta and also serves on the Safeguarding Commission of the Ecclesiastical Province of Malta – making him a protégé of Scicluna.

Further, it responds to a real exigency on the ground.

For more information visit: https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2020/02/is-vatican-anti-abuse-task-force-tale-of-two-cities-or-remembrance-of-things-past/amp/

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