Pilot Annual Report

2023-2024

The first step to a global picture on safeguarding

The goal of the Annual Report is to provide an assessment of the nature and effectiveness of
safeguarding policies and procedures in the Church and how the Commission serves to review
these practices, to assist church leaders in improving them, in a way that leads to an increase in
measurable protection of children and vulnerable persons.

The Report Examines Four Areas

the church in focus

There are 114 national Latin Rite bishops’ conferences worldwide, key to ecclesial governance and vital for developing and implementing church safeguarding guidelines.

The Church in the regions

This Section focuses on regional Church safeguarding, presenting key findings and next year’s objectives.

Safeguarding procedures and the Roman Curia

This Section outlines the Roman Curia’s safeguarding role, focusing on key dicasteries and their activities.

The Churches' Global Safeguarding Ministry

This Section covers the Church’s global safeguarding and advocacy, highlighting Caritas and other efforts.

the church in focus

There are 114 associations of national bishops’ conferences around the world. As a core unit of ecclesial governance, the bishops’ conference represents a vital link in the development and operation of safeguarding guidelines in a particular church.

How does the Commission monitor and promote safeguarding activities in the local churches? The Commission has adopted a two-pronged approach. First, it has prioritized the ad limina visits of episcopal conferences, as a key moment of dialogue and engagement with leadership of the local church

Second, the Commission’s evaluative instrument for assessing the adequacy of local church efforts in regard to safeguarding is the Universal Guidelines Framework that includes the audit tool. This Section will therefore provide a detailed analysis of the Commission’s engagement with all the previous year’s episcopal conferences prior to, during, and after their respective ad limina visits. The Section will conclude with a list of Key Findings / Lessons Learned / Recommendations and Objectives for the next twelve months, for each ad limina participant.

The Appendix contains the list of safeguarding questions submitted by the Commission, for inclusion in the preparatory questionnaire distributed by the Dicasteries for Bishops, Eastern Churches and Evangelization.

the church in the regions

This Section will focus on the safeguarding mission of the Church in the continental regions. The Commission divides its ordinary work into four Regional Groups expressing the intention of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium for the Roman Curia to be at the service of the local church. The Regional Groups, through regular contact with church leadership and other important audiences in the region, such as groups of victims and survivors, will present its analysis of the current state of
safeguarding efforts in the region, identify trends and realities that require attention. The Section will conclude with a list of Key Findings / Lessons Learned / Recommendations and Objectives for the next twelve months. It might be appropriate in an Appendix to list any major events, conferences, etc., organized on a regional level.

Safeguarding procedures and the Roman Curia

This Section focuses on the functions of key dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as they promote safeguarding throughout the Church. In the first draft, the Annual Report will explain the position of the Commission within the Curia, its mandate and jurisdiction from within the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Section will highlight the safeguarding activities within the Curia, with a focus on those areas of Curial activity described in the Memoranda of Information Exchange between the Commission and various entities within the Curia. The Commission is determined to ensure the collection of specific and informed data on procedures and standards followed by dicasteries of the Roman Curia in the management of reports referred to the Holy See. The aim is to foster uniform progress with the support of its key partners in the Roman Curia. The Section concludes with a list of Key Findings / Lessons Learned / Recommendations and Objectives.

The Churches’ Global Safeguarding Ministry

This Section focuses on the Church’s presence in the world and its safeguarding role, in broader society – including advocacy in favor of children in various situations of risk. It will focus on the Church’s advocacy and activities in international organizations which have a global presence. Among others, these include the work of Caritas Internationalis and the Church’s vast social, educational and healthcare footprint. The Section will conclude with a list of Key Findings / Lessons Learned / Recommendations and Objectives for the next twelve months.

The Annual Report seeks to achieve the promotion of human rights, reconciliation and institutional
change. The Commission has noted the synergy between several principles of the concept of
transitional justice and some of the fundamental moral principles found in Catholic teaching. These
principles, namely, truth-seeking, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence, may
offer expertise on how to develop a comprehensive response to the realities of sexual abuse in the
Church – in both reckoning with past abuse and building a culture of prevention. Further study and
evaluation of the usefulness of this important work of social analysis and social change for the
Church’s context will be undertaken by the Commission, and in dialogue with key partners.