Child Protection

The Latest

Pope Francis meets with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in an audience May 5, 2023.

Pope Francis invites child protection group to have ‘a spirituality of reparation’

May 5, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

“The sexual abuse of minors by clergy and its poor handling by Church leaders has been one of the greatest... Read more


Report on abuse in Church in US: Recent cases rare, but historical numbers show painful legacy

Nov 11, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones

There are signs of progress in efforts to prevent sexual abuse of children, with under two dozen new allegations of... Read more

Nazir Afzal, who was appointed chair of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales May 18, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Catholic Safeguarding Project.

In England and Wales, Catholic Church names former prosecutor to lead child protection efforts

May 22, 2021

By CNA Staff

Nazir Afzal, a prestigious Muslim barrister with a history of prosecuting gangs engaged in sexual abuse and grooming, is the... Read more

Pennsylvania capital, Harrisburg. Image via Shutterstock.

States move to close child marriage exceptions

Jun 24, 2019

A growing number of states are considering bans or additional restrictions on child marriages, including in Pennsylvania, where a bill... Read more

Pope Francis May 22, 2018.

Pope Francis issues child protection laws for Vatican City State, Roman Curia

Mar 29, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

Pope Francis Friday issued new laws and guidelines on the protection of minors for those working within Vatican City State... Read more

Pope Francis at the meeting on protection of minors in the Church in the Vatican's New Synod Hall, Feb. 21, 2019.

Pope proposes 21 'reflection points' for discussion at abuse summit

Feb 21, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

Pope Francis on Thursday gave participants in a Vatican summit on protection of minors in the Church a list of... Read more

Australian state hesitates to require priests to break seal of confession

Jul 12, 2018

The Australian state of Victoria has said a recommendation by the royal commission that it pass a law requiring priests... Read more

Australian priests 'willing to go to jail' rather than break confessional seal

Jun 18, 2018

As Australian states and territories pass and consider laws requiring priests to break the seal of confession to report cases... Read more

Updated: What society can learn from the Catholic Church regarding child protection

Nov 1, 2017

By Mary Farrow

One month after an avalanche of sexual assault accusations were lobbed against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, another Hollywood scandal broke.  Read more

Religious, secular experts unite in call to protect child safety online

Oct 6, 2017

By Elise Harris

In a joint declaration on the need to protect youth on the internet, leaders and experts from various fields stressed... Read more

Pope Francis and a cross during the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum in Rome, Italy on April 3, 2015.

Pope Francis: 'painful' failures help Church lead in protecting minors

Oct 6, 2017

By Elise Harris

On Friday Pope Francis told a group of religious and secular experts from around the world that protecting minors against... Read more

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Microsoft rep calls Catholic Church a key ally in protecting kids online

Oct 5, 2017

By Elise Harris

The head of Microsoft's office for online safety has said the Catholic Church is a key ally in the ongoing... Read more

Vatican recalls priest from US as child porn investigation opens

Sep 15, 2017

By Elise Harris

The Vatican announced Friday that after being informed by U.S. officials of a possible breach of child pornography laws on... Read more

Brutal Regensburg report hailed as step in the right direction

Jul 20, 2017

By Elise Harris

A member of Pope Francis' commission to protect minors says a new report on the abuse of more than 500... Read more

Cardinal Pell speaks with journalists after being charged with sexual abuse June 29, 2017.

Cardinal Pell to take leave while facing abuse charges in Australia

Jun 29, 2017

By Elise Harris

After Australian police announced that they have charged him on multiple counts of sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell has maintained... Read more

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia speaks to CNA Oct. 25, 2016 in Rome.

Australian police charge top Vatican official with sexual abuse

Jun 28, 2017

By Elise Harris

After years of fighting allegations of sexual abuse and negligence in handling abuse cases, Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's top... Read more

Rome conference to address safeguarding children online

May 31, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

An international congress in Rome this autumn will bring together experts to focus on the problem of online sexual abuse... Read more

As abuse survivor leaves, Vatican group aims to listen better to victims

Mar 27, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

After a victim who suffered past clerical abuse resigned from the Vatican's anti-abuse commission, the group is aiming for more... Read more

St. Peter's Basilica, front view.

Vatican abuse prevention event 'extremely important' for Church

Mar 23, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

On Thursday a Vatican event on the prevention of child abuse narrowed in on the importance of education in schools... Read more

How the Catholic Church in Australia aims to enhance anti-abuse efforts

Nov 29, 2016

In Australia, the Catholic Church has established a new independent non-profit to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse.  Read more