Pope Francis appoints Father Andrew Small OMI Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

TutelaMinorum is excited to announce the appointment of its new Secretary Father Andrew Small. An Oblate of Mary Immaculate who has worked in human rights advocacy, economic development across Africa and Latin America and the development of initiatives to increase funding for training in child protection throughout the Universal Church, Father Small is prepared to bring his depth of experience to his new appointment within the Vatican.

Father Andrew Small OMI

“I am deeply honored to be called to serve the Holy Father and God’s people as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors,” said Fr. Small, reacting to news of the appointment. “Safeguarding the youth of our Church and of our communities remains one of the most urgent priorities of the Church today. Since its formation in 2013, the Commission has played an integral role in creating a safer Church through their efforts to cultivate a culture of responsibility, accountability and transparency. I look forward to doing my part to help rebuild trust in a Church whose mission is to protect, support and love any and all, but especially those wounded by the Church’s ministers. The Lord will accompany us in the healing that lies ahead as we continue on this most important path of safeguarding.” 

Before this appointment, Fr. Small was National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (TPMS), in the United States from 2011 to 2021. Originally from Liverpool, England, he has served in parish ministry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in Houston, Texas in the United States. He served as the U.S. Bishops’ foreign policy advisor 2004 to 2009, after which he coordinated Church recovery efforts following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

Fr. Small also taught international law at Georgetown University Law Center from 2006-2009 and holds law degrees from Sheffield University, England (LL.B.) and Georgetown University Law Center, USA (LL.M.). He earned his doctorate in theology (S.Th.D.) from the Catholic University of America. He speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

As Director for the US Bishops Office for Latin America, Fr. Andrew, together with Commission member Teresa Kettelkamp, then-Director of the Office of the Protection of Children and Young People in the US Bishops’ Conference, developed a protocol that ensures safeguarding awareness among Church entities applying for grant funding from the USCCB.

As National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States (TPMS), Fr. Andrew was instrumental in developing a scholarship program for religious personnel from Africa and Asia who were selected to attend courses at the Centre for Child Protection at the Gregorian University highlighting universal need for good formation in safeguarding.

Fr. Andrew is an advocate for developing new ways for the Church to evangelize in the digital age. As National Director he oversaw the TPMS development of a peer-to-peer crowdfunding website www.missio.org which incorporates safe environment requirements as well as responding to the need to provide adequate resources for training in safeguarding in poorer countries.

As Fr. Small prepares to help guide TutelaMinorum into its next chapter of Safeguarding around the world, we would be remiss if we did not extend our heartfelt thanks to outgoing Secretary, Monsignor Robert Oliver, for his over 8 years of service to making the Church Universal a safer place for all of God’s children. You will surely be missed here in Rome, but your legacy will continue to be felt in the Church’s ongoing safeguarding efforts!

Visit Vatican News to read Father Small’s interview regarding his appointment as Secretary.

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