International News

Pope Appoints New Members of Minor Protection Commission

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has named nine new members to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, including abuse survivors or the parents of survivors, the Vatican said.

However, respecting “the right of each person to disclose their experiences of abuse publicly or not to do so,” the commission said, “the members appointed today have chosen not do so publicly, but solely within the commission.”

Pope Francis re-appointed Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, Mass., to be president of the commission, which the pope originally established in 2014. The terms of the original members had expired in December.

The new members include: Benyam Dawit Mezmur, an Ethiopian who was chair of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2015-17; Indian Sister Arina Gonsalves, a certified counselor and consultant on abuse cases; Neville Owen, a judge and former chair of the Australian Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council; Sinalelea Fe’ao, chief education officer for the Diocese of Tonga and Niue; and Myriam Wijlens, a canon law professor from the Netherlands.