SANTIAGO, Chile — Amid the crisis facing the Church in Chile regarding sexual and other forms of abuse, the Archdiocese of Santiago has created the Bishops’ Delegated Commission for Truth and Peace.
This body will integrate the functions carried out by the Pastoral Office for Abuse Complaints and the Department for the Promotion of Safe Environments with the goal of addressing the harm done by members of the clerics of the archdiocese, responding to current needs and establishing ways to restore trust.
Their functions include coordinating the efforts of the archdiocesan entities aimed at promoting safe and secure environments, as well as receiving and accompanying those making accusations and the victims of abuse in ecclesial contexts.
They will also monitor canonical procedures in abuse cases, provide the necessary monitoring but also pastoral care of the clergy involved, and the pastoral care for the communities and persons affected. They will inform the communities “in a duly and timely manner” and collaborate with civil institutions.
The Bishops’ Delegated Commission for Truth and Peace will be presided over by Andrea Idalsoaga Montoya, a lawyer from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and will be comprised of the vicar general, the judicial vicar, the vicar for the clergy, the chancellor, the diocesan delegate from the Pastoral Office for Abuse Complaints and the director of the Department for the Promotion of Safe Environments.
The Diocesan Advisory Council for the prevention of abuse will continue to collaborate with the new commission.
Idalsoaga is the first woman and layperson to head up the tasks related to abuse complaints and abuse-prevention training in the archdiocese. She will report directly to the archbishop of Santiago.
She is also a member of the board of the Chilean Association of Canon Law. She was the judge of the National Ecclesiastical Appeals Tribunal for more than 14 years and worked as a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Catholic University’s School of Law between 2008 and 2012.
This article was originally published by CNA’s sister agency, ACI Prensa. It was translated by CNA.