VATICAN CITY – In efforts to eliminate incidences of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, the Holy See announced on Wednesday that eight new members from five continents have been appointed to the Vatican’s child protection organization.
]Pope Francis selected the new members; including Peter Saunders, a British man victimized by pedophile priests; as well as a Filipino, whose identity has not yet been made available to the media.
Created to rid the Church of pedophilia and other acts of sexual abuse, the special commission is tasked with advising the pope on these matters. It was established in 2013, under the leadership of American cardinal Sean O’Malley.
The current roster of members includes seven women and nine men, from both the clergy and lay sectors. The new members were chosen from Australia, Britain, Colombia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, United States and Zambia
Briton Peter Saunders – founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), is the second victim of pedophilia within the Church to be designated to the commission. The first was Marie Collins from Ireland, who is an activist for the rights of victims of sexual abuse.