Voice of the Faithful® National Statement:
The arrest and initiation of criminal proceedings against a former papal nuncio for child sex abuse may signal the Vatican is ready to take substantive action on clergy sex abuse and cover-ups instead of just talking about needed changes.
The arrest Sept. 23 of former bishop and apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic Josef Wesołowski, who is accused of having paid for sex with minors, is just one step. Still needed are penalties for bishops who covered up child sex abuse and shielded priests from criminal prosecution. This problem continues today despite the Church’s constant vows to do better.
If this arrest demonstrates a new resolve by the Church under Francis’ papacy to discipline abusers and abettors of the scandal, Voice of the Faithful® is encouraged the Church may have turned a corner in its handling of clergy sexual abuse, but next steps to discipline other bishops are needed now, not in the distant future.
Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church.