Comboni Missionaries and Pope Francis
This artcle was posted on Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel and posted here by Peter Roman. We put it through Google Translate and then made some grammar corrections – but we may not have them all.
Pope Francis continues to fight persistently against child abuse in the Catholic Church – and against the systematic concealment of the acts that have caused so much suffering in the past with the victims.
On Wednesday, the Pontiff brought a new legal department into being, which may take action against bishops who do not strive enough to investigate suspected cases. The department is located in the CDF and it will be lead by an archbishop.
Pope Francis’s Commission
The Commission shall consist of 17 clerics from around the world. There will be, among others, a set of preventive measures for the dioceses designed to initiate a “process of healing.”
Eight members of the new department are women. Pope Francis took on five proposals of the Child Protection Commission at the Vatican, including the requirement that episcopal abuse of office in the future should be a canonically criminal offense.
This means, in practice, that bishops can be prosecuted if they do not investigate allegations of child abuse or maltreatment adequately.
Sexual Abuse Victims
Victims representatives had urged the Vatican for years to finally do something about the cover-up such crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed to journalists that bishops can also be prosecuted in the future if they do not take action to prevent sexual abuse.
Complaints against bishops who do not take action had been examined in the past, by one of three Vatican authorities, before being handed over to the Congregation for the decision.