Canadian Bishops Vos Estis
ROME – At a time when many are eager to see more implementation of Pope Francis’s recent norms for bishops’ accountability, the Canadian bishops have rolled out a new online reporting system where complaints, either of sexual abuse or coverup, against the Church’s shepherds can be made.On May 6, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new bilingual service in English and in French for reporting “situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a bishop.”
According to a statement issued by the bishops Thursday, the new online service “furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.”
Called the “Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop,” the new system is being touted as a direct response to Pope Francis’s 2019 motu proprio, or legal edict, Vos estis lux mundi, drafted after a global bishops’ summit on child protection following the scandal surrounding American former priest and cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Among other things, Vos Estis enforces mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to Church authorities, including allegations against bishops and cardinals.
So far, Vos Estis has been celebrated by Vatican officials and child protection experts as a major step forward for the Catholic Church in terms of addressing not only the crime of abuse, but the coverup.