Archive for June 10th, 2015
Voice of the Faithful thanks Pontifical Commission for prompting new tribunal for holding bishops accountable
The Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful today thanks the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and Cardinal Sean O’Malley for presenting proposals to Pope Francis that have led to establishment of a new Vatican tribunal for judicial review of allegations against bishops involved in clergy sexual abuse of children.
At the same time, we thank Pope Francis for approving the tribunal and authorizing funding for it.
Time will tell whether these moves actually result in holding bishops accountable for coverups of crimes, but these steps are the most promising the Vatican has yet taken.
Although thankful that Pope Francis has funded the tribunal, we are awaiting similar funding for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Unlike other Vatican committees, the Commission answers directly to the Pope and not to other Curial offices—and funding is essential for the Commission to maintain its independence from the Curia.
Voice of the Faithful®: 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 the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Pope Francis has created a new Vatican tribunal section to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests, the biggest step the Holy See has taken yet to hold bishops accountable.
“For years, the Vatican has been criticized by victims, advocacy groups and others for having failed to ever punish or forcibly remove a bishop who covered up for clergy who raped or molested children. In April, Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who had been convicted of failing to report a suspected child abuser, but that wasn’t a forced removal.
“The Vatican said Wednesday (June 9) that Francis had approved proposals made by his sexual abuse advisory board. They create a mechanism by which the Vatican can receive and examine complaints of abuse of office by bishops and adjudicate them.
“A special new judicial section will be created inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ‘to judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of office when connected to the abuse of minors,’ a Vatican statement said.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.