Posts Tagged pontifical secret
BOSTON, Mass., Dec. 18, 2019 – Pope Francis yesterday changed the Catholic Church’s Canon Law to abrogate the “pontifical secret,” the Vatican’s equivalent of “top secret,” with regard to clergy sexual abuse cases. Voice of the Faithful joins clergy abuse victims and survivors and their advocates in considering this reform long-overdue.
Voice of the Faithful has always promoted full transparency of clergy abuse, understanding that the Church used secrecy in an attempt to protect itself against scandal, which resulted in particularly unjust treatment of victims. Because of the Pope’s action, no one may in the future claim that they cannot hand over documentation of abuse, or testify at trials, or be uncooperative with civil authorities by claiming clergy abuse information is considered top secret by the Vatican.
The Church’s leading clergy abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, has called the Pope’s instruction “epochal.” Abuse survivor Marie Collins, a former member of the Papal Commission for the Protection of Minors who resigned in frustration at Vatican resistance, hailed the change, calling it “excellent” and a “real positive change.”
Will this reform usher in a new era of transparency and accountability in the Church? We can only hope.
Voice of the Faithful Statement, Dec. 18, 2019
Contact: Nick Ingala, email@example.com, 781-559-3360
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.
While documentation from the church’s in-house legal proceedings will still not become public, (archbishop Charles) Scicluna (the Vatican’s leading sex crimes investigator) said, the reform now removes any excuse to not cooperate with legitimate legal requests from prosecutors, police or other civil authorities. (Associated Press)
Pope Francis abolished the use of the Vatican’s highest level of secrecy in clergy sexual abuse cases Tuesday (Dec. 17), responding to mounting criticism that the rule of “pontifical secrecy” has been used to protect pedophiles, silence victims and prevent police from investigating crimes.
”The carnival of obscurity is over,’ declared Juan Carlos Cruz, a prominent Chilean survivor of clergy abuse and advocate for victims.
“In a new law, Francis decreed that information in abuse cases must be protected by church leaders to ensure its ‘security, integrity and confidentiality.’ But he said the rule of ‘pontifical secrecy’ no longer applies to abuse-related accusations, trials and decisions under the Catholic Church’s canon law.
“The Vatican’s leading sex crimes investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, said the reform was an ‘epochal decision’ that will facilitate coordination with civil law enforcement and open up lines of communication with victims.
“While documentation from the church’s in-house legal proceedings will still not become public, Scicluna said, the reform now removes any excuse to not cooperate with legitimate legal requests from prosecutors, police or other civil authorities.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …
Catholic Church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says / The Guardian
The Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.
“he royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday (Feb. 9) began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.”
By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also of interest, “Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy,’ royal commission hears,” By Rhian Deutrom, The Australian