News / Europe

Vatican Posts Online Guide Against Sexual Abuse by Clergy

A screen grab from a section of the Vatican website entitled "ABUSE OF MINORS. THE CHURCH'S RESPONSE"
A screen grab from a section of the Vatican website entitled "ABUSE OF MINORS. THE CHURCH'S RESPONSE"
Sabina Castelfranco

The Vatican announced on Monday that bishops and other Roman Catholic church officials must report clerical sex abuse to law enforcement authorities.  The Vatican posted a new guide on the Internet for lay people.

As pressure mounts on the Catholic Church over its handling of sexual abuse cases by priests and with Pope Benedict XVI also being criticized for his response to the crisis, a new guide for lay people was posted on the Vatican's Web site.  It makes clear that suspected abuse by priests must be reported to the police.

Vatican scholar Marco Politi says these guidelines are short and simple as opposed to the 2001 norms on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse by priests that were written for bishops and canon lawyers.

"These guidelines are very important not only from a practical point of view because they tell exactly what a bishop has to do, but also because they show the determination of the Pope to follow the zero tolerance line," said Marco Politi. "The Pope wants the victims to be listened to.  The Pope wants that nothing has to be covered up from now on.  And the Pope wants that these priests are punished, are removed and are brought before state courts."

As outlined in the online guide, bishops should investigate every allegation and any accusation with "a semblance of the truth" that is referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  This enforcement body - once run by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict - is being criticized by those representing victims of abuse for having responded too late or too leniently.

Again, Marco Politi:

"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of course, has always worked with great secrecy," he said. "And now it is in a transition.  It must also learn to be quick in answering the issues, to be very transparent in its policy and also to give exact figures."

But the latest effort by the Vatican has done little to appease victims of sexual abuse.  The U.S.-based Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for "deeds, not words" and says "church policies, whether online or not, are largely irrelevant" because bishops could easily ignore them.

The editor of the Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano, Giovanni Maria Vian, on Monday defended Pope Benedict as a "great communicator."  He said there is a media campaign against the Pope and he criticized poor standards of reporting.   

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid