Orations at the clergy sexual abuse symposium in Rome continue.
Yesterday at the symposium, the word was accountability, at least for the Vatican’s “sex crimes prosecutor” Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of Justice.
The Associated Press quoted Scicluna in The Boston Globe as saying, “What we need to do is to be vigilant in choosing candidates for the important role of bishop, and also to use the tools that canonical law and tradition give for accountability of bishops,’’ he said. “It’s not a question of changing laws, it’s a question of applying what we have.’’
Scicluna’s remarks about accountability, were put this way in National Catholic Reporter, “To all those critics who have clamored for greater accountability for Catholic bishops who drop the ball on sex abuse cases, the Vatican’s top prosecutor this morning had a simple message: You’re absolutely right.”
According the Catholic News Service, Scicluna told the symposium that the “deadly culture of silence, or ‘omerta,’ is in itself wrong and unjust,” and that “no strategy for the prevention of child abuse will ever work without commitment and accountability.”
Voice of the Faithful wonders whether the Vatican might not start such accountability right away.
Today at the symposium, the National Catholic Reporter and the Associated Press in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported remarks by a major church official in the Philippines, Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. Tagle spoke about clergy sexual abuse in Asia. He did not talk about accountability for crimes, but rather the culture of silence there that tends to keep abuse within the family and the Philippine church’s desire to avoid the mistakes of the United States and Ireland.
We hope he meant holding perpetrators and abettors accountable and not avoiding the scandal, rather than preventing future abuse.
Towards Healing and Renewal runs through tomorrow at the Jesuit’s Pontifical Gregorian University.