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March 15, 2016 ·  By


Vatican Radio


GLOBAL : Paedophilia – Noncompliant bishops will be tried in the Vatican (Vatican Insider via CNUA)

Francis has decided that “abuse of office” by bishops who do not follow up complaints about children being sexually abused by priests, is a canonical offence. He is also setting up a related section in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Mary Collins, a former clerical sex abuse victim is glad about the decision

The Pope has approved a proposal to penalise “abuse of office” by bishops in cases where there are reports of clerical sex abuse against children, setting out a new Vatican procedure for dealing with this kind of offence and boosting the establishment of a new Judicial Section in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on paedophilia cases. A secretary will also be appointed ad hoc to assist the Prefect. Francis himself established this during the course of the tenth meeting of the 9-member Council of Cardinals (C9) that is assisting the Pope with the reform of the Roman Curia and the government of the Church, held between Monday and today in St. Martha’s House. One of the things that is new is the green light given for the “gradual integration” of Vatican mass media over a period of four years. This still needs to be looked into in more detail, but keeping staff and with a view to create a new super-dicastery in charge of communication.

On Monday afternoon, the C9 “heard a speech by Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley on the proposal to be presented to the Holy Father regarding the abuse of office by bishops, a proposal prepared by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors” headed by the Archbishop of Boston himself, the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a briefing, underlining that today’s decision is in line with what the body itself said in recent months about the importance of accountability, the need, that is, for bishops to take responsibility in such cases. Cardinal O’Malley’s speech includes a proposal on the subject of reported incidents of clerical sex abuse against vulnerable adults and children. The Capuchin friar made five concrete proposals at the end of his speech:

Firstly, “because the competence to receive and investigate complaints of the episcopal abuse of office belongs to the Congregations for Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples, or Oriental Churches, all complaints are to be reported to the appropriate Congregation.”


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