Vatican “means business” on rooting out clerical sex abuse

May 16, 2011

(Swiss Guards at the Vatican, May 6, 2011/Tony Gentile)

The Vatican told bishops around the world Monday that they must make it a global priority to root out sexual abuse of children by priests. The Roman Catholic Church told bishops in a letter that they should cooperate with civil authorities to end the abuse that has tarnished its image around the world.

“This is telling the world that we mean business. We want to be an example of prevention and care,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The letter is intended to help every diocese draw up its own tough guidelines, based on a global approach but in line with local civil law. These must be sent to the Vatican for review within a year. “The responsibility for dealing with delicts (crimes) of sexual abuse of minors by clerics belongs in the first place to the diocesan bishop,” the letter says.

It incorporates sweeping revisions made last year to the Church’s laws on sexual abuse, which doubled a statute of limitations for disciplinary action against priests and extended the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them.

Read the full story here. The text of the letter is here. A statement by the Vatican press office explaining the principles behind the guidelines is here.


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It seems that if they were real serious about stopping it, they’d be more proactive about turning the priests in rather than waiting for the victims to go to the authorities and for the authorities to come to them. It may just be my opinion, but as long as there continues to be more and more victims going to the authorities I think that says all that needs to be said about how serious the Vatican is about stopping the problem.

Posted by JoshuaRay3 | Report as abusive

yes, but is it “Business” as usual, I.e. keep this little matter out of the pulpit, and don’t sin by marching on diocesan headquarters?? And, NO, it does not belong in the first place to the (press-shy) bishop, it belongs to the gendarmes!!

Posted by Dingstah | Report as abusive

[…] Catholic Church’s new guidelines for dealing with priests accused of molesting children. The Vatican told bishops around the world earlier on Monday that they must make it a global priority to root out sexual abuse and cooperate […]

Posted by » Blog Archive » Top Vatican expert on sexual abuse explains new Catholic guidelines | Report as abusive

Quote: “It is a good day for people who expect that the Church gives the good example, even when it comes to the protection of minors,” [Monsignor Charles] Scicluna said.

Even when it comes to the protection of minors? Even?! As if the protection of minors should be a trivial concern?

Posted by Scott-K | Report as abusive