Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, February 10, 2016, The Guardian

The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally.

“According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds,” the training document states.

Showing 3 comments

  • Deirdre O'Neal
    commented 2016-02-11 11:54:21 -0600
    It’s hard to believe that this statement from the Vatican reflects Pope Francis’s thinking. I notice that it was issued while he is out of town meeting with the head of the Greek Orthodox church in Mexico. Is SNAP going to protest this outrageous document? Hope so . . .
  • William Clarke
    commented 2016-02-10 18:45:09 -0600
    Bishops & priests are not above local laws.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2016-02-10 13:25:28 -0600

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