Any modern communal discernment about the future of leadership in the Church needs to include difficult conversations about the most painful issue in Catholicism today: the sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Church to its core. The participants in the Discernment and Leadership meeting in Rome started their day with those difficult discussions.
Invited to give grounding to the discussion was Fr. Hans Zollner SJ, theologian, psychologist and president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was hand-picked by Pope Francis to organize the February meeting for the Protection of minors in the Church. Recognized for his tireless work for the prevention of sexual abuse in the Church, giving workshops and guiding committees to advocate for policies that can protect children, and training future leaders who will fight abuse, Fr. Zollner came to the meeting to keynote a serious discussion about where the Church has failed in its sacred duties.