The Catholic News of the Vatican City reported yesterday, 6th December 2016, that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has launched a beta version of its website in English and has included its template for local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse and resources for a day of prayer for the victims and survivors.

IMPORTANTLY – The Website has a mailing address to contact commission members.

The website — —will include, eventually, versions in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, the commission said in a statement Dec. 6.

Pope Francis’ international Council of Cardinals identified the protection of children and young adults as one of the church’s priority needs and suggested in December 2013 that he create a commission to advise him and assist dioceses and religious orders around the world in drawing up guidelines, handling accusations and ministering to victims and survivors. Pope Francis named the first members three months later and appointed as president Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.

Note by Brian Mark Hennessy: Whilst the Commission has made some important recommendations to date, the Congregations of the Vatican Curia have been less than enthusiastic about both embracing those recommendations and providing funds for the administration of the commission. Notably, amongst the recommendations widely said to have been criticized “in house” by the Curia, was the establishment of a Vatican Court to try Bishops and Religious Leaders who had covered up allegations of abuse in the past and mismanaged clerics who were known to have abused children. The prospect of a “resignation” was substituted as an “appropriate” punishment for such Hierarchs. This has been widely criticized by Survivors’ Organisations as “inappropriate” for Hierarchs who, due to both their inaction or their abject mismanagement, had been complicit in the proliferation of subsequent sexual abuse of children by paedophile clerics in their charge.

To date, no Court of the Holy Rota is known to have heard a case against a Bishop or Religious Leader on such charges – albeit, in the case of sexual abuse allegations by a Hierarch himself, one Vatican Holy Rota Court legal process was cancelled due to the sudden death of the accused. Another (as yet unpublicised) legal action is said to have commenced in the case of Archbishop Apuron of Guam who has been accused of historically sexually molesting altar boys.

My view on the reluctance of the Curia to proceed with such a Court Process is that the mismanagement of paedophile clerics has been such an endemic cultural, culpably heinous and worldwide feature of Diocesan Bishops and Religious Hierarchs throughout the Catholic Church – that a Vatican Court would not be able to handle the volume of credible charges. Indeed, that waiting list of accused prelates would be so great – and the depletion of the ranks of diocesan Bishops and Religious Superiors so extensive – that, within a very short timescale, the Catholic Church would become virtually “rudderless” and plunged into deep crisis within its Clerical ranks. The disaffection of its Lay Church communities of the Catholic Church would be catastrophic. The secular world outcry would, most likely, be ferocious.

By way of example of the Church’s blind indifference or deliberate disregard, I provide the following fact – which is the total and absolute silence of Catholics prelates and Religious Leaders within Great Britain and throughout the Bishops Conferences of every continent – in response to their receipt of the Document entitled, “A Text Book on How Not To Manage Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse – And Why The Comboni Missionary Religious Order of Verona, Italy, Denys Allegations of 1000 Sexual Crimes Committed Against Boy Seminarians in their Care at Mirfield, Yorkshire, England”.  

The exception was the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who notified the writer that he intended to hand a copy of the above document personally to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the time of his visit to Rome in January 2016. He later confirmed that he had done so. He made no comment, however, as to his reasons for so doing. No response has been received from the Curia – not even an acknowledgement of receipt in the time of close on a year that has elapsed. This “silence” is not about denial, but it is the Catholic Church’s cultural reaction to criticism. Their Hierarchs, from the Vatican Curia to almost every Diocesan Bishop and Religious Leader, are paranoid about the dire effects of being introspective, truthful, humble and, in essence, courageous in their “Christianity”. That fear stays their hand. It also seeks to disguise the fact that their “Establishment” and the funds of its multi-billion worldwide conglomerate are of greater import to them than their “Gospel Message”. That is the sign of an obsolete and redundant Church – if there ever was one.

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