When it comes to holding bishops and religious superiors responsible for the cover up of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis’ June 4 apostolic letter on ecclesial accountability is not only a distinct improvement over the proposal made a year ago to establish a tribunal to hold bishops accountable, it is possibly the most positive and hopeful signal to come out of the Vatican to date.
“Canon lawyer Kurt Martens — among others — told NCR, ‘Everyone seems to be excited about the new [apostolic letter] but there is really no change.’ However, there is something breaking with this pronouncement — the official recognition by the church’s highest authority of hierarchical negligence in dealing with sex abuse by clerics. It is not only acknowledged but named as a crime.
“The apostolic letter, or motu proprio known by its Italian title, Come una madre amorevole (‘As a loving mother’), has some remarkable positive points that deserve mention …”
by Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.