Argentina Clerical Sexual Abuse
ROSARIO, Argentina – Two major archdioceses in Argentina are facing allegations of wanting to “replace the state” by creating a commission to receive allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but one expert says civil law and canon law aren’t competitors for justice.
“Always, every case, the law of the State wherever the abuse happens, must be followed and respected,” said Maria Ines Franck, the executive secretary of the Pastoral Council for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults of the Argentine bishops’ conference.
“The Church is a different entity, but complementary, and both must be upheld because the person has these two dimensions, as a faithful and as a citizen.”
Archbishop Eduardo Martin of Rosario and Archbishop Sergio Fenoy from nearby Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz are being accused of “usurpation of the role of the State, swindles and other frauds,” after the two prelates announced the “implementation of a system for receiving allegations” of sexual crimes committed by priests and other members of the Church.
Franck’s comments came during a Zoom conversation organized by Argentina’s bishops conference that also included Bishop Sergio Buenanueva, president of the council; and Father Mauricio Landra, former dean of the canon law faculty of the Pontifical University of Argentina.