The Diocese of Lisbon will meet this Thursday and is expected to announce tomorrow a decision on the allegations of sexual abuse in the church identified by the Independent Commission, said today the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, Américo Aguiar.
“Today we are going to have a meeting of the Diocesan Commission (…) to propose to the patriarch the measures that he thinks should be applied”, he told journalists on the sidelines of an initiative in Lisbon.
With regard to Lisbon, the list will be handed over to the Diocesan Commission this Thursday and in the next few days this body will recommend to the cardinal patriarch what he should do in relation to each of the people listed in the document, explained the bishop.
“That means that if the commission says that people A, B and C should be removed from public ministry, they will be,” he added.
Questioned by journalists about the preventive suspension of priests, the prelate explained that official Vatican documents say that the expression “suspension” should not be used, because it implies a penalty and a process, but that in practice, for the understanding of ordinary citizens, and what happens.
Protocol with APAV
It was also announced that the Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults of the Patriarchate of Lisbon established a protocol with the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) for the prevention of cases of sexual abuse in the Church.
José Souto Moura, who is part of that commission, in addition to chairing the Coordination Team of the Diocesan Commissions for the Protection of Minors, said this Thursday, in statements to the Ecclesia agency and Rádio Renascença, that the protocol “is not limited to welcoming, monitoring and possible treatment for those who need it, but training sessions are planned for prevention”.
“The protocol has a service area, on the part of APAV, linked to Greater Lisbon, with support posts in Lisbon, Oeiras, Cascais, Odivelas and Cadaval”, he added.
According to the former Attorney General of the Republic, the preventive work will involve APAV, vicariates and private institutions of social solidarity.
Souto Moura said that the National Coordination Team was preparing to create a group of psychologists and psychiatrists who could “accompany and welcome” the victims.