By Rosa Die Alcolea

From March 20-27, 2020, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is sending Monsignor Charles Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta and Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Mexico on a mission of collaboration. Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu will accompany the Maltese Archbishop.

The mission will be a “service of technical advice, fraternal help and dialogue to help the Church in Mexico to “reaffirm itself on the path already undertaken in the right direction, to answer cases of sexual abuse of minors on the part of clerics,” explained Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office.

Archbishop Scicluna, helped by Monsignor Bertomeu, will be available to meet with Bishops, Major Superiors (of all Religious Institutes) and others seeking advice.

Request for Support Asked of the Holy See

The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM) and its National Council for Protection of Minors have “fought in a responsible, transparent and clear way against the culture of abuse and the system of cover-up, which enabled it to be perpetuated,” pointed out CEM’s President, Monsignor Rogelio Cabrera, and its Secretary General, Monsignor Alfonso Miranda.

This conviction, which stems from the desire “to accompany the victims in their pain, search for justice and healing, led us to request, through the Apostolic Nunciature, the support of the Holy See,” they explained.

The object of the mission is to “benefit the littlest ones and most vulnerable, impelling us as Church, and specifically us as Bishops, to continue guarding these brothers of ours,” said the Mexican Prelates, who are sure that the mission will “serve to improve the answer to these cases, seeking the action of civil and canonical justice, under the principle of ‘zero tolerance,” so that no case remains unpunished in our Church.”

Meetings in the Apostolic Nunciature

On Friday, March 20, the mission will meet with all the members of the Mexican Episcopate in Casa Lago (Cuautitlan, Izcalli), and on March 23 it will meet with the Major Superiors of Religious of Mexico in their own premises.

During all the rest of the day, the mission will be available to all those that wish to contact it, to share their experiences or to get orientation and assistance. These meetings will be held in the Apostolic Nunciature, which has prepared to receive those concerned, guaranteeing total reserve and confidentiality, both of the persons that attend them as well as the content of the conversations. The Nunciature has given a telephone number and an e-mail address to receive eventual requests.

Monsignors Scicluna and Bertomeu Are Outstanding Experts

The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate has exhorted the country’s bishops and Major Superiors of Religious congregations to “take advantage of this opportunity with the greatest disposition and openness, given the ample experience of Archbishop Scicluna and Monsignor Bertomeu in this matter.

Archbishop Scicluna is one of the Vatican’s major experts on the protection of minors. In addition to being Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he has been Chairman of a Review board, which manages cases of abuse within the Congregation.

The Holy Father sent him to Chile to try to resolve the abuse scandal that has scourge the Churn in that country. After the Pope received the Archbishop’s findings, he he called the Chilean bishops to Rome . All of them reigned, but the Pope accepted only some resignations, including that of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.

In November of last year, Archbishop Scicluna took part in the First Latin American Congress on the Prevention of Abuse in the Catholic Church, which was held in Mexico. Last June the Archbishop shared his experience on the protection of children and youths in the Church with the Polish Episcopal Conference.

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