Vatican to offer abuse victims help online
The Catholic Church, often accused of dragging its feet on sexual abuse scandals, will turn to the internet with a new e-learning centre to help safeguard children and victims of molestation.
The Vatican presented the plan at a news conference yesterday, flagging an international conference on sexual abuse of children by clergy to be held next February at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University with church backing.
"The e-learning centre will work with medical institutions and universities to develop a constant response to the problems of sexual abuse," Monsignor Klaus Peter Franzl of the archdiocese of Munich said.
It will be posted in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian and help bishops and other church workers put into place Vatican guidelines to protect children.
"We are serious about this and that we think the church has to be at the centre of a solution," said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
"This is not a flash-in-the-pan initiative but something we are committed to in the long-term."
The e-learning centre will go live next year during the conference in Rome, which will draw top experts on sexual abuse of children by clergy.