Our assessment so far of Vos Estis, based on the cases we’ve tracked in Poland, the United States, and elsewhere: Too few bishops have been found guilty, they’ve been punished too lightly, and next to no information about their misdeeds has been disclosed.By Anne Barrett Doyle, National Catholic Reporter
“Three years ago, as the Catholic Church faced an unprecedented reckoning with clergy sexual abuse, Pope Francis introduced a church law that promised to hold bishops and religious superiors accountable for abuse that they commit or cover up.
“Entitled Vos Estis Lux Mundi (‘You Are the Light of the World’), the law was touted by papal spokesmen as a turning point in the fight to end child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
“It’s ‘revolutionary,’ said Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.
“‘The silence, omertà and cover-ups can now become a thing of the past,’ said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the pope’s trusted abuse investigator.
Vos Estis, a motu proprio that was signed on May 9, 2019, was originally enacted for a three-year trial period that ends this June 1. As we wait to see if Francis will now make the law permanent, it is a good time to assess what will likely be this pope’s most significant response to the Catholic abuse crisis.
So far, the Vatican has released no information about the number or names of bishops investigated under Vos Estis. BishopAccountability.org has been able to identify 28 cases where it has been used to process allegations of cover-up or abuse by bishops. We hope it is being used more widely than this — there are 5,600 living Catholic bishops! — but we can’t be sure.
By Anne Barrett Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …