Cardinal O’Malley urges ‘pastoral prudence’

The President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, has written to the dicasteries of the Roman Curia to express the hope that during this time, “pastoral prudence would prevent displaying artwork in a way that could imply either exoneration or a subtle defense” of alleged perpetrators of abuse “or indicate indifference to the pain and suffering of so many victims of abuse.”

“We must avoid sending a message that the Holy See is oblivious to the psychological distress that so many are suffering,” the cardinal said in the letter sent on behalf of the Commission to leaders of the Curia on June 26.

In recent months, victims and survivors of power abuse, spiritual abuse, and sexual abuse have reached out to the PCPM to express their increasing frustration and concern at the continued use of artwork by Father Marko Rupnik by several Vatican offices, including the Dicastery for Communications.

Currently, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is investigating allegations of the psychological and sexual abuse of several consecrated women by Father Rupnik, who was dismissed by the Society of Jesus in June 2023.

In his letter, Cardinal O’Malley said that while the presumption of innocence during such an investigation should be respected, the Holy See and its offices must “exercise wise pastoral prudence and compassion toward those harmed by clerical sexual abuse.”

“Pope Francis has urged us to be sensitive to and walk in solidarity with those harmed by all forms of abuse. I ask you to bear this in mind when choosing images to accompany the publication of messages, articles, and reflections through the various communication channels available to us,” the cardinal wrote.

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Rwanda: Missionaries of Africa hold safeguarding training session in Kigali

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