Pope Francis waived secrecy
Title: One year after abuse summit, church reviews progress
Author: Carol Glatz
ROME — Since Pope Francis convened a historic summit at the Vatican one year ago to address clergy sex abuse and accountability, much has been done, but advocates say more is needed.
Dozens of experts, abuse survivors and their advocates came to Rome the same week as the summit’s anniversary to emphatically reiterate the need to never let ignorance, complacency or denial ever take hold again and to make the church safe for everyone.
The advocacy groups held media events and worked on talking to as many Vatican officials and religious leaders as possible to highlight still unaddressed concerns such as abuse by women religious, transparency in past and current Vatican investigations of known abusers and the likelihood of ever seeing “zero tolerance” for known predators.
However, significant measures have been rolled out piecemeal over the year. Here is a rundown of the most major changes:
— Pope Francis approved a sweeping new law and set of safeguarding guidelines for Vatican City State and the Roman Curia in March, just a month after the Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit.
The new law “On the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons,” beefed up existing criminal laws for Vatican City State and mandates quick reporting of suspected or known abuse to the Vatican tribunal. It covers all forms of physical and emotional abuse — not just sexual violence through coercion — as well as serious forms of mistreatment, neglect, abandonment and exploitation against minors, who are below the age of 18, and vulnerable adults. Any Vatican employee around the world can be tried by the Vatican court for violations.
This new law on child protection was meant to better comply with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocol, since legal amendments made in 2013 brought Vatican law into detailed compliance with several international treaties the Vatican had signed over the past decades.
While Vatican City State is a tiny country with few residents, the move was also meant to be a role model for the rest of the church and those places or institutions still lacking concrete, clear guidelines and procedures.
— In May, Pope Francis issued “Vos estis lux mundi” (“You are the light of the world”) for the universal church.
The papal mandate revised and clarified norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse. It requires all priests and religious to report suspected abuse or cover-ups and encourages any layperson to report through a now-mandated reporting “system” or office that must be set up in each diocese by June of this year.
For more information visit: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2020/02/one-year-after-abuse-summit-church-reviews-progress-additional-needs/amp/