NYT reports: Pope Francis on Thursday issued the first law obligating officials in the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to report cases of clergy sexual abuse — and attempts to cover it up — to their superiors.
Vatican officials said the pope was trying to enshrine accountability for bishops into church law.
What is needed is that people like Cardinal George Pell should be responsible to the civil authorities not to other priests like him.
The move by Pope Francis does nothing to instill confidence in the Catholic Church’s intention stall about child abuse.
Victims’ advocates say the church can no longer be trusted to police itself, which is exactly what the new law demands.
“This new law leaves it up to the bishop to report it to civil authorities — he does not have to,” said Peter Isely, an abuse survivor and the leader of Ending Clergy Abuse, an advocacy group for survivors of clerical child abuse. “Hasn’t that also been the problem? How does this change anything?”
Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal who was kicked out of the priesthood this year for sexual abuses, in Newark in 2014.
Cardinal George Pell is currently serving a prison sentence in Australia for child sex abuse. He is pictured here with his friend, fellow priest and convicted paedophile Gerald Ridsdale.
if the Pope’s proposed plan were in place while Ridsdale and Pell were practising, Ridsdale’s offences would be reported to his Bishop, a practising paedophile himself.
What chance of justice here?