WorldPope issues new rules mandating the reporting of sexual abuse

16:25  09 may  2019
16:25  09 may  2019 Source:   cnn.com

'Thou shall not gossip', Pope tells hairdressers

'Thou shall not gossip', Pope tells hairdressers POPE-HAIRDRESSERS/ (PIX):'Thou shall not gossip', Pope tells hairdressers

Pope issues new rules mandating the reporting of sexual abuse© FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images Pope Francis looks on upon his arrival for the weekly general audience on May 8, 2019 at St. Peter's square in the Vatican. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis issued new global rules Thursday for reporting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, mandating for the first time that all dioceses set up systems for reporting abuse and cover-ups.

The new rules require all Catholic dioceses around the world to have a "public and accessible" system in place for reporting abuse by June 1, 2020.

Military sexual assaults rise by almost 38%; alcohol involved in nearly two out of three

Military sexual assaults rise by almost 38%; alcohol involved in nearly two out of three The Pentagon is set to release figures showing a 38% spike in the estimated number of sexual assaults among troops.

The new norms cover internal Catholic Church procedure, not the issue of reporting abuse or cover-up to civil authorities, and represent a top-down imposition which must be followed by all dioceses.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Vatican's top investigator of sex abuse, told CNN that the new rules add a layer of accountability for church leaders.

"First of all that leadership is not above the law," Scicluna said, "and second that leadership needs to know, all of us in leadership we need to know, that if the people love the Church they're going to denounce us when we do something wrong."

Most dioceses in the US and Europe already have these systems, and the new norms will likely be more important in countries where there are not already well-established guidelines for reporting and handling sexual abuse.

California to review sex-abuse responses of all 12 dioceses

California to review sex-abuse responses of all 12 dioceses The California attorney general's office will review how all 12 Roman Catholic dioceses in the state handled allegations of child sexual abuse that have resulted in payouts of hundreds of millions of dollars to victims. Attorney General Becerra sent out letters to the dioceses on Thursday, May 2, 2019, Sacramento diocese spokesman Kevin Eckery told the Sacramento Bee.

Under the new rules, investigations into credible reports of sexual abuse must be completed within 90 days, and a no-retaliation clause protects the person reporting abuse from tit-for-tat claims or obligations for them to keep quiet.

Top Vatican official Cardinal Marc Ouellet told the Vatican's in-house newspaper the mandatory reporting requirement was the most important element in the new rules.

Ouellet told Osservatore Romano that it's significant that "besides the abuses on the minors and on the vulnerable adults that the harassment or violence of abuse of power also be reported."

For decades the Catholic Church has been plagued by a series of sex abuse scandals in different countries around the world.

The new norms follow a global meeting on sex abuse at the Vatican in February and represent Pope Francis' pledge to offer "concrete measures" to combat sexual abuse.

Anita Hill: Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence

Anita Hill: Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence Last month, Joe Biden called me to talk about his conduct during Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991. There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether he has offered me the right words. Given the #MeToo movement and Mr. Biden’s bid for the presidency, it’s understandable why his role in the hearings is being debated anew. If the Senate Judiciary Committee, led then by Mr. Biden, had done its job and held a hearing that showed that its members understood the seriousness of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence, the cultural shift we saw in 2017 after #MeToo might have began in 1991 — with the support of the government.

There has not previously been a uniform, universal system in the Catholic Church for reporting and investigating allegations of abuse.

The new rules were set out in an Apostolic letter, called a "Motu Proprio," issued personally by Pope Francis, which calls for a three-year trial period for the initiative.

Although the norms represent an important clarification of procedures to be followed, they do not deal with the question of what happens to a priest or bishop who breaks these rules.

To date, no church official has been publicly sanctioned for cover-up, and a lack of accountability is something that survivors have been concerned about for years.

After Bishop Robert Finn, the formerly the head of a Kansas City diocese, was convicted of failing to report child abuse in 2012, advocates for abuse survivors were angered that the Vatican allowed him to quietly resign rather than publicly sanctioning him.

In the United States, a bishop and canon lawyer praised the Pope's new move.

"I welcome the new motu proprio from Pope Francis with its clear procedures for the accountability of bishops and the protection of those who report abuse becoming the universal law of the Church," tweeted Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky.

Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, called the new rules an "immense and revolutionary gift to the entire Church."

"The new law offers whistle blower protections for all victim reporters and requires that every diocese in the world have publicly accessible ways to report abuse," Martens tweeted. "That is simply revolutionary."

Read More

Austin Michael Eric Parker held in sex abuse, death of 18-month-old girl.
Austin Michael Eric Parker, 24, was arrested after paramedics found an 18-month-old child unresponsive, records detail. Parker called 911 when he found the child was not breathing and the child was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, records show. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Investigators observed bruising that was in various stages of healing, marks consistent with fresh blunt force trauma and signs of past sexual abuse, records show.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!