Pope Francis abolishes pontifical

Kieran Tapsell: Has the Pontifical Secret Been Secretly Buried?

Author: Kieran Tapsell

Publication: John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations blog

Date: 12JUN2019

At the February summit of the heads of national Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Rome on child sexual abuse, three prominent speakers, Cardinal Marx, Professor Linda Ghisoni and Archbishop Scicluna criticized the pontifical secret, imposed by canon law over child sexual abuse by clergy. It was widely expected that Pope Francis would abolish it, and would impose mandatory reporting to the civil authorities under canon law, as demanded by two United Nations Committees in 2014.

After imposing mandatory reporting to the civil authorities within the confines of the Vatican City for the protection of the 30 children who live there, Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Letter, Vos Estis Lux Mundi on 7 May 2019. He made some changes to canon law over child sexual abuse to be applied universally throughout the Church. He made no mention of the pontifical secret being abolished, and did not impose mandatory reporting to the civil authorities.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had found that the pontifical secret still applied where there were no applicable civil reporting laws and recommended its abolition. In response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (‘ACBC’) stated that the pontifical secret ‘does not in any way inhibit a bishop or religious leader from reporting instances of child sexual abuse to civil authorities.’

For more information visit: https://johnmenadue.com/kieran-tapsell-has-the-pontifical-secret-been-secretly-buried/

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