“Vatican plans to move on sexual abuse responsibility” & related articles

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The Australian

AFP

April 17, 2015 12:00AM

The Vatican is preparing to introduce legal procedures to establish the responsibilities of bishops and Catholic hierarchy found guilty of protecting priests who have sexually abused children, a spokesman said yesterday.

The issue of accountability was discussed in the presence of Pope Francis by the C9, the group of senior cardinals who advise him.

Victims’ groups accuse the church, the Vatican and the Pope of refusing to take action against hierarchy who have turned a blind eye to pedophile acts. In some cases, the priests are simply moved to different areas or different jobs.

The group of senior cardinals said the rules “were not sufficiently clear to deal with this kind of problem”.

They called for “routes to be explored to proceed on the legal front against abuses of power and omissions” by bishops and other church hierarchy, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told a press conference.

He said the procedures would be put in place “in a diligent manner”. US cardinal Sean O’Malley, a member of the C9 and head of a committee for the protection of minors set up by the Pope, told his committee of his concerns during the meeting.

A working group established by the C9 committee met Cardinal O’Malley at the weekend to discuss the nomination of a Chilean bishop, Juan de la Cruz Barros, who is suspected of having shielded a pedophile priest.

The members of the sub-committee have called for the Pope to change his mind. They told Cardinal O’Malley that “the process of naming bishops who have an understanding of the protection of childhood is of a primary importance”.

The Vatican has so far said it sees no reason to revere Bishop Cruz Barros’s appointment.

AFP

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Vatican plans legal action against sex abuse

news24

16 April 2015

2015-04-16 10:52

(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Vatican City – The Vatican is preparing to introduce legal procedures to establish the responsibilities of bishops and Catholic hierarchy found guilty of protecting priests who have sexually abused children, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The issue of accountability was discussed in the presence of Pope Francis by the C9, the group of senior cardinals who advise him.

Victims’ groups accuse the Church, the Vatican and the pope of refusing to take action against hierarchy who have turned a blind eye to paedophile acts. In some cases, the priests are simply moved to different areas or different jobs.

The group of senior cardinals said the rules “were not sufficiently clear to deal with this kind of problems”.

They called for “routes to be explored to proceed on the legal front against abuses of power and omissions” by bishops and other Church hierarchy, Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi told a press conference.

He said the procedures would be put in place “in a diligent manner”.

Controversial appointment

US cardinal Sean O’Malley, a member of the C9 and head of a committee for the protection of minors set up by the pope, told his committee of his concerns during the meeting.

A working group established by the C9 committee met O’Malley at the weekend to discuss the controversial nomination of a Chilean bishop, Juan de la Cruz Barros, who is suspected of having shielded a paedophile priest.

The members of the sub-committee have called for the pope to change his mind.

They told O’Malley that “the process of naming bishops who have an understanding of the protection of childhood is of a primary importance”.

The Vatican has so far said it sees no reason to revere Cruz Barros’ appointment.

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Vatican: Council of Cardinals has bishop accountability ‘on the table’

National Catholic Reporter

15 April 2015
Joshua J. McElwee

Vatican City

The cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the church’s central bureaucracy have discussed the issue of accountability for Catholic bishops who mishandle cases of clergy sexual abuse, the Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.

Addressing the latest meeting of the Council of Cardinals during a press briefing, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said the prelates have put the issue “on the table” after being presented with it by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

“It is not that they might have made a precise project or a document” on the issue, Lombardi said. “But the theme is explicitly, let’s say, on the table of the C9, and the intention is now to find a way to proceed in the deepening of the competence in these cases.”

The Council of Cardinals is a group of nine prelates advising the pope on reforming the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia. The council is frequently referred to as the C9.

O’Malley serves as a member of the cardinals’ group and is also the president of the new Vatican commission on clergy sexual abuse.

The question of accountability for bishops who mishandle abuse cases has long been seen as the most unresolved issue in the church’s response to clergy sexual abuse.

The issue has come up again in recent days as four members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors came to Rome on Sunday to meet with O’Malley to express concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse.

After that meeting, commission members told NCR that O’Malley promised to pass on their concerns about Bishop Juan Barros Madrid to Pope Francis in coming days.

Lombardi said Wednesday that the cardinals’ group spoke specifically about “abuse of office, of neglect of responsibility” by leaders in the church in reporting abuse. He said those leaders included “bishops, priests, religious superiors.”

“This is a subject that I have heard spoken of,” the spokesman said, describing the cardinals’ meetings. “The question remains open; namely, how to confront these cases in an efficacious way.”

Barros was installed as the bishop of Osorno, Chile, last month amid protests in the cathedral. Chilean survivors say that as a priest, Barros not only worked to cover up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, but witnessed some of the abuse as it happened. In 2011, the Vatican found Karadima, a once-renowned spiritual leader and key Chilean church figure, guilty of sexually abusing minors.

The Council of Cardinals met Monday through Wednesday at the Vatican. It is the ninth meeting of the group, which Francis first assembled in 2013.

The cardinals are discussing reorganization of the various Vatican offices in view of the likely publication of a new constitution for the organization of the Curia. Lombardi said Wednesday that reorganization is still going forward but the new constitution should not be expected in coming months.

The spokesman said the cardinals had also talked about a recent review of the various communications offices of the Vatican and suggested that there might be creation of a new commission to continue that review.

Lombardi said the cardinals are also still discussing the idea for the creation of two new large Vatican congregations dealing with the realms of justice and charity and with laity and family. Pontifical councils, not congregations, currently cover those areas.

The Vatican bureaucracy is split between 12 such councils and nine congregations. The congregations are normally considered more powerful, as they handle matters like church doctrine and appointment of bishops.

Lombardi said the next meeting of the cardinals’ council would be held June 8-10 and would be followed by similar meetings in September and December.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

1 Response to “Vatican plans to move on sexual abuse responsibility” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    I fail to grasp why the issue of Bishop Barros keeps straying from the the allegations of victims otherwise deemed credible by the Vatican that Barros personally looked on as boys were being sexually abused, and that he was sexually intimate with the molester. My past knowledge of priests ‘observing’ is that they were titillated and getting their sexual kicks from watching.

    If those in the Vatican who are refusing to deal with these allegations have proof that the victims are lying about Barros then please tell us so. Publicly. Otherwise, defrock him. Get him out of the priesthood.

    That aside, I am not totally thrilled to read that the select group of cardinals feel that the rules are “ not sufficiently clear” to deal with members of the hierarchy who turn a blind eye to “pedophile acts” !

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