Dec 172014

Pope Francis has named a Filipino as one of the new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Vatican Radio said Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco is one of the new members chosen from different parts of the world, to have a full representation of diverse cultures.

The pontifical commission seeks to safeguard the welfare of minors, including improving sex abuse prevention and better care for victims.

Its next plenary session is scheduled in the Vatican from Feb. 6 to 8, 2015.

Vatican Radio, citing information from the Holy See Press Office, described Dy-Liacco as an adolescent psychotherapist and pastoral counselor for various mental health concerns “including of individuals, couples, families and groups, including victims and perpetrators of abuse.” 

Commission members

It said the commission is headed by Boston Archbishop Cardinal Seán O’Malley (United States). O’Malley is a member of the Council of Cardinals which advises the Pope.

Msgr. Robert Oliver (United States) serves as the Secretary of the Commission. He served many years in child protection work for the Archdiocese of Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Promoter of Justice.

Other members are:

Rev. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera (Colombia), Director of the Department of Psychology, professor of pastoral psychology in the Conciliar Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, and as a parish priest.

Dr. Catherine Bonnet (France), a child psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author on child sexual abuse and perinatal violence and neglect.

Marie Collins (Ireland), a survivor of child sexual abuse. A founder Trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation she served on the committee which drafted the Catholic Church’s all-Ireland child protection policy, “Our Children Our Church.”

Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins (England), a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with children and adults with intellectual disabilities including those who have been sexually abused, and is a life peer in the House of Lords.

Bill Kilgallon (New Zealand) is Director of the National Office for Professional Standards of the Catholic Church in New Zealand where he has lived for the last four years. Prior to that he had a long career in social work and health services in the UK.

Sr. Kayula Gertrude Lesa, RSC (Zambia) is a Development Professional, trainer and author on child protection, human trafficking, refugee rights and the right to information. She served as a member of the African Forum for Church Social Teaching (AFCAST).

Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS (South Africa), a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in the Diocese of Mathatha in South Africa. She works as a high school teacher and for several years in the diocese as a trainer in pastoral work. After serving as an Associate Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference for six years, Sr. Hermenegild was appointed as the Secretary General of the SACBC in 2012.

Kathleen McCormack am (Australia), a social welfare worker who served as Director of Welfare of CatholicCare in the Diocese of Wollongong for 29 years and held leadership roles in Family Services, Child Protection, Out Of Home Care and Ageing and Disability Services.

Dr. Claudio Papale (Italy), a canon lawyer and a civil lawyer, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, and an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Peter Saunders (England), who was abused throughout his childhood in Wimbledon, South West London. He earned a Business Studies degree, and discovered he was one of millions who had suffered such abuse and who could not find any appropriate support. He set up NAPAC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, for supporting all survivors and for developing greater resources for responding to child abuse.

Hon. Hanna Suchocka (Poland), a professor of constitutional law and specialist in human rights at the University of Poznan, and was formerly Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See.

Dr. Krysten Winter-Green (United States), a New Zealander with post-graduate degrees in Theology, Human Development, Social Work, Religion and Pastoral Psychology. She served in dioceses around the world with homeless persons and those living with AIDS. Krysten’s concentration in the areas of child abuse include forensics, assessment and treatment of priest/clergy offenders.

Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel Yáñez, SJ (Argentina), Director of the Department of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, professor of moral theology at the Gregorian and the Pontifical Urban University, and former Director of the Center of Research and Social Action in Argentina.

Rev. Dr. Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany), President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Director and Professor of the Institute of Psychology. He was Chair of the organizing committee for the Symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal” on sexual abuse of minors (February 2012). Joel Locsin/NB, GMA News

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