By ZENIT Staff

The inaugural meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) Standing Committee for Responsible Ministry and the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons was recently held in Ottawa. The first permanent structure of its kind within the CCCB, the membership of the Standing Committee involves a total of 16 people, including four Bishops, victims-survivors, and experts from the fields of safeguarding, psychology, and law (canon and civil). The meeting of the Standing Committee members represents an important step for the Church in Canada in its commitment to address the grave harm sexual abuse caused to victims and their families and to ensure all pastoral environments are safe.

“I am grateful to the Standing Committee members who bring with them a wealth of professional and personal expertise to our discussions,” began the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Chair of the Standing Committee. “It is clear from our first meeting that they are eager to work and bring forward real change to prevent abuse from ever occurring, as well as to assume their critical role as advocates for the healing of victims-survivors.”

Although not a decision-making body, the Standing Committee will assist and advise the CCCB in maintaining its national guidelines, Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformation (2018). It will bring forward research-based information and identify emerging issues and best practices. It will address matters related to healing and prevention, act as a sounding board and consultative forum, and recommend priorities and initiatives for consideration by the appropriate CCCB bodies.

For more information about the Standing Committee for Responsible Ministry and the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons, and the Church’s ongoing efforts to prevent abuse and protect minors and vulnerable persons, please visit
https://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/commissions-committees-and-aboriginal-council/standing-committees/responsible-ministry-and-the-protection-of-minors-and-vulnerable-persons.

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