Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Vatican Actions Show Progress on Sex Abuse

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Vatican Actions Show Progress on Sex Abuse

Article excerpt

Last February the UN. Committee on the Rights of the Child chastised the Vatican for substandard policies that fall short in protecting children, specifically from sexual abuse. At the time, NCR acknowledged that the report had weaknesses--it lacked focus and didn't appreciate that some of what it called "policies" are actually "teachings," an important distinction. In an editorial, however, we said we "should not lose sight of the truth the report contains: When it comes to sex abuse, church officials continue to cloak themselves in secrecy, deceive the faithful and act with impunity" It is a refrain, sadly, often repeated in this newspaper over the last 30 years.

Months earlier, we had criticized Pope Francis for seeming indifference to the crisis. "Priests can be removed from ministry with just the suspicion of wrongdoing. Bishops and their staff face no consequences. They stay in office and are even promoted. Until that changes, the abuses and cover-ups will continue," we said.

It looks as if real change might be underway. In the past few months, Francis has appointed a special commission on clerical sex abuse to advise him directly and staffed it with professionals and competent advisers, including an abuse survivor. He has met with the commission twice since May, and he had substantive meetings with abuse victims in June. We hope those are not his last such meetings.

Moreover, it appears that Francis is finally making headway in holding bishops accountable for the protection of children. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.