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Vatican child protection commission hears from British abuse survivors

Pope Francis speaks during a weekly general audience at the Paul VI audience hall (Getty Images)

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors metsurvivors of clerical sexual abuse last week. The commission said on April 22 that they had heard testimonies from survivors of abuse, some of whom were members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of England and Wales.

The pontifical commission thanked the SAP group for offering their “expertise and experiences” and assured them that their voices would help the commission “to develop effective ways to integrate the voice of survivors into the life and ministry of the Church.”

On Saturday, April 21 members of the commission met with Pope Francis in a private audience. The Pope said he intended to confirm the commission’s statutes which are only temporary in nature following the establishment of the commission in March 2014.

The commission closed their plenary on Sunday, April 22 and no date has yet been announced for their next session. The commission is chaired by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston who has been widely praised for his response to clerical abuse in Boston diocese following the resignation of his predecessor Cardinal Bernard Law after the Boston Globe uncovered sexual abuse reaching back decades in 2002.