Somewhat cryptically hinting at possible new procedures for handling Catholic bishops who mishandle clergy sexual abuse, the Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on the issue says it is ‘developing processes to ensure accountability for everyone in the Church.’
“The commission, which met for the first time at the Vatican with all 17 of its members this weekend, makes the claim of such new processes in a press statement released Monday (Feb. 9) afternoon.
Mentioning the word ‘accountability’ four times in the statement, the commission says it is ‘keenly aware that the issue of accountability is of major importance …’
“The Vatican commission on clergy sexual abuse, which the pope created to advise him on the protection of minors in all circumstances, is being led by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Among its 17 members are two survivors of clergy sexual abuse, Irishwoman Marie Collins (Marie Collins will be the featured speaker at the Voice of the Faithful® 2015 National Assembly, April 18) and Englishman Peter Saunders …
“Asked by NCR after the press conference about the fact that only the pope can remove bishops, Collins interrupted the question to say: ‘Currently, yes.’
“‘All I can say is the commission is working on a means by which bishops can be made accountable,’ Collins, an Irish abuse survivor who serves on the commission, continued. ‘And if that goes forward … there will be an answer to this problem.’”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Also of interest, “Accountability is key concern for pope’s child protection commission,” by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, and “Forget spanking: bishop accountability is the big pope story,” by John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com