Saturday evening (Nov. 21) was the Boston College -- Notre Dame football game at Fenway Park. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Saturday evening (Nov. 21) was the Boston College -- Notre Dame football game at Fenway Park.
So, earlier in the day, we were very happy to welcome the many students, alumni and fans who were in town to the Cathedral the Holy Cross for Mass. Father Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, celebrated the Mass for them.
Protection of minors
Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, I celebrated Mass at the Cathedral, and then set out for Costa Rica as part of a group of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that was asked to address the bishops of the six episcopal conferences of Central America, called SEDAC, who were holding their annual gathering.
As you know, the Holy Father has asked that every bishops conference establish clear policies and protocols on the issue of child protection, and the bishops were very eager to have us advise them on this. I was joined by Msgr. Robert Oliver and Father Juan Molina, director for the Church in Latin America of the USCCB. Bishop-elect Luis Manuel Ali Herrera was unable to be with us because of problems with his visa. Bishop-elect Ali was recently named auxiliary Bishop of Bogota and serves on the child protection commission.
In our meetings we spoke about the need for educational programs, the importance of cooperating with civil authorities and reporting crimes of clergy sexual abuse, as well as the importance of pastoral care for victims and those accused. We also spent a great deal of time addressing the importance of prevention, including screening procedures and the need for human formation the seminaries.
The bishops were very receptive to what we had to say and, as you might expect, they had many questions, which we tried to answer to the best of our abilities.
Members of the Pontifical Commission have addressed other bishops' conferences, but I was very happy to be able to attend this one and to be part of this very important work. I see this task of helping bishops conferences develop strong policies and to implement them well as one of the most important functions of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.