Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna during the meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’ (Photo: ANSA)

In November 2018, the Holy Father entrusted to Most Reverend Substitute, the task of assisting the Organising Committee for the Meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’, composed of Cardinal Blaise Cupich, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, His Excellency Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna and Father Hans Zollner, in the preparation of said Meeting, which was then held in the Vatican from 21-24 February 2019.

At the end of the Meeting, Pope Francis welcomed the Bishops’ request for help in dealing with the cases of abuses committed by members of the clergy, and delegated to the Secretariat of State the task of finding concrete solutions, together with members of the Organizing Committee of said Meeting.

Beginning in March 2019, follow-up meetings were held in the Secretariat of State, almost on a monthly basis, involving, according to the matter at hand, the Prefects of respective Dicasteries and various experts. The projects realized to date are:

  1. The Apostolic Letter in the form of a “Motu Proprio” on the protection of minors and vulnerable persons of 26 March 2019;
  2. Law 297 for Vatican City State; of 26 March 2019;
  3. The Guidelines for the Vicariate of Vatican City, of 26 March 2019;
  4. The MP Vos estis lux mundi, of 9 May 2019;
  5. A juridical counsel, to accompany and assist the Dicasteries in the application of the MP Vos estis lux mundi, headed by the Most Reverend Filippo Iannone, and composed of Representatives of the Secretariat of State and the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Oriental Churches, for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;
  6. The Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi with which Pope Francis promulgated the Instruction On the Confidentiality of Legal Proceedings, of 17 December 2019;
  7. The Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi with which the Holy Father introduced several modifications to the Normae de gravioribus delictis, of 17 December 2019.