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Vatican publishes handbook for bishops and religious superiors to guide response to abuse allegations

Pope Francis Abuse Manual

Title: Vatican publishes handbook for bishops and religious superiors to guide response to abuse allegations
Author: Gerard O’Connell
Publisher: America Media

Date: 16JUL2020

In a major step forward in combating the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy in the Catholic Church, the Vatican has today published a “vademecum” or handbook to guide bishops and superiors of religious orders in dealing effectively with allegations of abuse by clergy.

The 32-page document includes 164 articles that contain up-to-date legal norms and best practices that bishops and superiors of religious orders should follow whenever they receive an allegation of abuse of minors by clergy or come to know of such abuse. Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Vatican News that the text was drafted with input from the local churches and will be updated.

Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, the secretary of the C.D.F., told Vatican News that “given the complexity of norms and best-practices, this guide aims to point out a path, to assist in not getting lost.”

“The real novelty,” the archbishop said, “is that for the first time the procedure is described in an organized way—from the first report of a possible crime to the definitive conclusion of the cause—uniting the existing norms and the praxis of the Congregation.”

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