Pope Francis abolishes pontifical

Will demand grow to end celibacy, as Pope signals zero tolerance on abuse?

Pope Francis Zero Tolerance

: Will demand grow to end celibacy, as Pope signals zero tolerance on abuse?
Author: The Catholic Herald Staff
Publisher: The Catholic Herald
Date: 06SEP2022

Pope Francis says he has taken personal responsibility to rid the Church of sexual abuse. He told CNN Portugal that he was “responsible that it doesn’t happen anymore.” In an interview in Rome, the Pontiff said the Church had “zero tolerance” for abuse, while “a priest cannot remain a priest if he is an abuser.” Francis told CNN Portugal every case of abuse “hurts” him.  This, despite criticism that Francis has been insufficiently firm in some cases.The Pope has been criticised, for instance, for defending a bishop in Chile accused of covering up a sex scandal in 2018, something he later described as a “grave error”. That said, the Pope abolished Vatican secrecy rules for cases of abuse, and put in place new rules which made it mandatory for all dioceses to set up systems for reporting abuse and cover-ups. This effectively allows the Church to share documents and information with civil authorities, having already shared files with authorities in some countries, like the US.

According to the Vatican’s top investigator for abuse, Archbishop Charles Scicluna: “Pontifical secret is no longer an excuse.” Scicluna said abolishing the rule “means the question of transparency is now being implemented at the highest level.” The Pope has also said bishops must take action against clerics who abuse minors and vulnerable adults. That revision involved all of section six of the Church’s Code of Canon Law. The Pope has, however, said he does not believe celibacy plays a role in causing abuse, although many Catholics – even many conservatives – would disagree with this, even if such abuse does occur in wider society where celibacy is not practised.

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