10 February, 2016

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says | World news | The Guardian

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says | World news | The Guardian


  1. Thank you for having the courage to report this.

    When I received my training as a Scout leader I was told when one encounters abuse one has two calls to make, the first to the authorities, the second to Scouts Canada.

    1. Michael: One of the reasons that I'm in the bad books of the powers who run this diocese is because I stood up at a meeting in which we were told to report any allegations to a church official ONLY and said that such a policy was in violation of stated Church and State law. In Canada, if anyone (except a lawyer) comes into evidence that a child is in need of protection, they must report it to the appropriate civil authority within 24 hrs. Period. It's as simple as that. Failing to report to the civil authority can result in a person being charged under the Criminal Code of Canada, an offense that can carry a significant jail term. Of course if an offender self-reports in the confessional, we must respect the seal of the sacrament - but we can make it a condition of absolution that the penitent go to the authorities and confess his/her crime. In general, priests MUST (like everyone else in society) report allegations of child abuse to both civil and religious authorities.

      I am surprised by the Vatican's handling of this. The only thing I can think of that would justify such a stance would be situations where the Church and State are in a state of virtual war with each other. Not every place on the planet has a fair and proper criminal justice system. But even then, I would think that the needs of a child should be the paramount consideration.

      Fr. Tim

  2. Bravo for you to standing up in that meeting. If any of them object, ask them if they are Knights of Columbus and if they remember their third degree initiation? (I still try to live by the principles I learned there).

    I too am amazed and disappointed. After what has happened, with that movie coming out about the Boston cover-up, and with the Church having to pay billions in restitution, you would think they would follow the legal requirement as well as the moral requirement.


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