Statement on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Dicastery for Clergy
On Friday May 26th, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Dicastery for Clergy signed An Agreement on Collaboration and Exchange of Information, the second such agreement between the Commission and a Curial institution since Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia with the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium.
The Agreement, signed on behalf of the Dicastery by the Prefect Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik and by the Commission President, Cardinal Sean O’ Malley OFM Cap., identified three main areas of shared interest:
First - in service to victims – working to create spaces and structures within the competence of the Dicastery for welcoming and hearing survivors and for those seeking to report instances of abuse.
Second – in service to the local churches – cooperating on those aspects pertaining to safeguarding contained in the Ratio nationalis, a document developed and adopted by each particular church, governing all aspects of priestly formation, as customized to the local cultural context.
Third – in service of priest formation – facilitating the promotion of an initial and ongoing formation of the clergy, that is ever more sensitive to the Church’s safeguarding ministry.
The collaboration between the entities of the Roman Curia will provide information for the Commission’s Annual Report, as requested by the Holy Father, in his April 2022 Private Audience with the PCPM, and reiterated again, in his May 2023 Private Audience.
Cardinal O’Malley said: “This second Collaboration Agreement marks another encouraging milestone for the Commission in its new position within the Curia. This agreement with the Dicastery for Clergy is allows us to open important communication channels with the office at the service of the formation of our priests worldwide. Priests and deacons are, perhaps, the most visible face of the daily life of the Church so ensuring that their life and ministry is subjected to good policies and procedures concerning the safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons is essential.”
The Prefect of the Dicastery for Clergy, Korean Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik welcomed increased collaboration: “Our commitment to this difficult area of the Church’s ministry is further expressed in today’s collaboration agreement. We hope, through our common effort, to deepen our understanding of the impact of abuse on victims and survivors and how to best accompany them, and also offer good practices in prevention and assistance to our priests who are called, as the Pope Francis has said, to become “Apostles of Safeguarding” for their communities.”