Zero Tolerance Clergy Abuse
Title: Zero tolerance for clerical sexual abuse of children
Author: UCA News Reporter, New Delhi
Publisher: UCA News
Indian bishops back new Vatican guidelines that call for even vague and anonymous claims to be investigated.
Catholic bishops in India have agreed to follow new Vatican guidelines to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against minors even when they appear unfounded.
”We will implement the guidelines in accordance with our civil laws,” Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), told UCA News on July 20.
The Vatican’s tougher line came in a July 16 direction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In his 2019 apostolic letter Vos estis lux mundi, Pope Francis said all priests and members of religious orders are obligated to report any suspicions of abuse to their superiors. Although the pontiff said clerics must also abide by civil reporting laws, he did not mandate reporting to civil authorities where such laws do not exist.
Now the Vatican wants bishops to report such cases to civil authorities in countries where there is no mandatory reporting protocol. It also warned prelates that “failure to do so can lead to their removal from office for dereliction of duty.”
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