Pope Francis names Springfield Cathedral parishioner to Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors


Pope Francis on March 15 appointed Teresa Morris Kettelkamp, a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, as adjunct secretary to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM). The independent body has been tasked since 2014 with advising the pope on how the Church can best protect minors and vulnerable adults. 

Kettelkamp, a former Illinois law enforcement professional, formerly was appointed to lead the United States bishops’ Office for Child and Youth Protection in 2005, serving in that role until 2011. She was first appointed a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2018. She had previously worked on the drafting of the Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults with the commission. 

“I thank the Holy Father for this appointment, but no one including myself reaches positions like this without many people along the path of life playing a role in who they are and their achievements,” Kettelkamp said. “I am no different: I have been blessed by many great role models. I see myself working as an advisor and team member with the Secretary in moving forward the mandate of the PCPM to protect children and the vulnerable, as well as give survivors of abuse by those in service and ministry to the Church a voice at the table.”

A former colonel with the Illinois State Police (ISP), Kettelkamp retired after 29 years of service, during which time she headed the ISP’s crime labs and crime scene services. She also, according to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors website, headed the ISP’s Division of Internal Investigation, which was responsible for the investigation of allegations of misconduct within the ISP as well as in the agencies, boards, and commissions under the executive branch of the Illinois state government.

Kettelkamp said she will return to Rome in May and has plans to return again in October.