Vatican City. The Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church started on Thursday, 21 February 2019, at the New Synod Hall in the Vatican with 190 participants – Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, leaders of the Oriental Catholic Churches, Ordinaries, Superiors General of men and women religious, prefects of Vatican dicasteries, some members of the Roman Curia and the Council of Cardinals, and invited speakers. Among them is Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, our Superior General, who participates as member of the Executive Board of the Union of Superiors General.
The meeting that is being broadcasted live on Vatican Media channels will continue until the 24th (See links below). Each of the three days has a theme: 1) Responsibility, 2) Accountability, 3) Transparency. Each of these themes will be articulated in three presentations. Each presentation will focus on the theme as it relates to: the person of the bishop and his responsibilities; the relationship of a bishop with other bishops; the relationship of the bishops with the People of God and society. The three who made their presentations today were Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna, and Rubén Salazar Cardinal Gómez.
It was Pope Francis who proposed this meeting and he explained his intention very well on the return flight from Panama after the World Youth Day celebrations. He wants to help the bishops clearly understand what they must do. The Pope wants them to become aware of the tragedy, of the suffering of the victims. Out of this will arise a strong sense of responsibility on the part of individual bishops, on the part of the bishops as a whole, and on the part of the wider community, that is, the Church. He also wants them to know what they need to do: what the procedures are, what tasks need to be accomplished at various levels (diocesan bishop, archdiocesan bishop, episcopal conference, Vatican dicasteries). And he hopes that this will lead to mutual accountability of the responsibilities and tasks that each has in relation to other bishops in the Church, and in society.
According to the website dedicated for the meeting, a final document is not foreseen. But the conclusion, within the context of the Meeting, will be the Holy Father’s discourse after the closing liturgy on Sunday Morning.
Website of the Meeting: https://www.pbc2019.org