Go Back   Matt-Hughes.com Official Forums > General Discussions > Christianity

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:44 PM
VCURamFan's Avatar
VCURamFan VCURamFan is offline
MMA, VCU, & Doctor Who
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Basketball Capital of the World
Posts: 14,324
Send a message via AIM to VCURamFan
Default Vatican Suggests Bishops Report Abuse to Police

From FoxNews.com:

Quote:

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican told bishops around the world Monday that it was important to cooperate with police in reporting priests who rape and molest children and said they should develop guidelines for preventing sex abuse by next May.

But the suggestions in the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are vague and nonbinding and contain no enforcement mechanisms to ensure bishops actually draft the guidelines or follow them.

That is a significant omission given the latest scandal in the United States involves allegations Philadelphia's archbishop left accused priests in ministry despite purportedly tough U.S. guidelines, and evidence that Irish bishops weren't cooperating with an independent board overseeing compliance with the guidelines of the church in Ireland.

The document marks the latest effort by the Vatican to show it's serious about rooting out priestly pedophiles and preventing abuse following the eruption on a global scale of the abuse scandal last year with thousands of victims coming forward.

But it failed to impress advocates for victims who have long blamed the power of bishops bent on protecting the church and its priests for fueling the scandal. Without fear of punishment themselves, bishops frequently moved pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police or punishing them under church law.

"There's nothing that will make a child safer today or tomorrow or next month or next year," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the main U.S. victims group Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests.

Critically, the letter reinforces bishops' exclusive authority in dealing with abuse cases. It says independent lay review boards that have been created in some countries to oversee the church's child protection policies and ensure compliance "cannot substitute" for bishops' judgment and power.

Recently, such lay review committees in the U.S. and Ireland have reported that some bishops "failed miserably" in following their own guidelines and had thwarted the boards' work by withholding information and by enacting legal hurdles that made ensuring compliance impossible.

"Our central concern is that bishops and religious leaders retain enormous discretionary powers to decide if an allegation is credible," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish victims group One in Four.

"Clergymen do not have the skills or expertise to make sound decisions in this regard: that is a matter for law enforcement and child protection specialists," Lewis said, calling the Vatican letter "dangerously flawed."

In the letter, the Vatican told the bishops "it is important to cooperate" with civil law enforcement authorities and follow civil reporting requirements, though it doesn't make such reporting mandatory. The Vatican has said such a binding rule would be problematic for priests working in countries with repressive regimes.

The letter told the bishops' conferences to draft guidelines for preventing abuse and caring for victims and report them back to the Congregation by May 2012. It said bishops should be prepared to listen to victims, to create "safe environment" programs for minors and to better screen seminarians and ensure they receive proper training about celibacy and the damage done to victims of sex abuse.

It did not mention possible financial compensation for victims.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, stressed that such measures are to be taken up on a case-by-case basis and that such a recommendation didn't belong in a general letter of guidance being issued by Rome.

The letter stresses that accused priests are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

That too is the case of the U.S. norms, which were enacted after the abuse scandal exploded in Boston in 2002. But the U.S. norms nevertheless bar credibly accused priests from any public church work if sufficient evidence is found that they abused a minor. Clergy found guilty are permanently barred from public ministry and, in some cases, ousted from the priesthood.

The guidance given to bishops in the letter Monday makes no mention of removing priests but reminds bishops that they are "always able to limit the exercise of the cleric's ministry until the accusations are clarified."

The U.S. norms were approved by the Vatican and are church law in the United States. The Vatican said Monday that if other bishops' conferences want to make their guidelines binding too they must submit them to Rome for review, though it cautioned that they cannot in any way circumvent canon law.

The letter is being issued at a time when the U.S. norms have been put into question after a Philadelphia grand jury earlier this year indicted a high-ranking church official on child endangerment charges for allegedly transferring predator priests. Four co-defendants -- two priests, an ex-priest and a former Catholic school teacher -- are charged with raping children.

The grand jury found "substantial evidence of abuse" committed by at least 37 other priests who remained in active ministry at the time of the report. Philadelphia's archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali, initially insisted that no archdiocesan priests in ministry had an "admitted or established allegation" against them. But he later suspended two dozen of the 37 priests.

The scandal exposed some of the loopholes in the Vatican-approved U.S. norms that leave it entirely up to bishops to determine the credibility of allegations; the new Vatican instruction confirms that by both reinforcing bishops' responsibility and authority and seemingly diminishing the importance of lay review boards in checking their compliance.

Last week, the head of the Philadelphia archdiocese's lay review board publicly accused Rigali and his bishops of having "failed miserably at being open and transparent" because they prescreened which cases the board reviewed and left out crucial information for some priests they did review.

And last week, Ireland's National Board for Safeguarding Children, a church-appointed independent panel overseeing compliance with Ireland's guidelines, said it had been prevented from fulfilling its mandate to review diocesan responses to abuse cases by bishops' legal concerns about the priests' privacy.

On Friday, Amnesty International listed the Vatican in its annual report of global human rights abuses, citing revelations of clerical abuse around the world and the "enduring failure" of the church to address the crimes properly.

"Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not co-operating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims," Amnesty said in its report.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:58 PM
Miss Foxy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good to hear. Any abuse anywhere regardless of religion should be reported to the police. These people need more than a prayer! The victims deserve justice.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-16-2011, 06:09 PM
Spiritwalker's Avatar
Spiritwalker Spiritwalker is offline
Matt-4; GJJ Black Belts-0
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Gastonia NC
Posts: 4,339
Default

This just makes my blood BOIL!!!!


Quote:
The Vatican told bishops around the world Monday that it was important to cooperate with police in reporting priests who rape and molest children
Important??? How about MANDATORY... you get caught not reporting this.. YOUR FIRED/DEFROCKED/whatever.. and then can be prosecuted in "aiding" in child abuse.. and then thrown in prison.. and then you will see what it's like.

Quote:
and said they should develop guidelines for preventing sex abuse by next May.
next MAY??? WTF! What have they been doing for the past YEARS!....

Quote:
Critically, the letter reinforces bishops' exclusive authority in dealing with abuse cases. It says independent lay review boards that have been created in some countries to oversee the church's child protection policies and ensure compliance "cannot substitute" for bishops' judgment and power.
What country is it legal to abuse/molest childern?? IMO.. a bishop is not above the law... Toss the bishop in jail... aiding and abetting.. if the bishop knew of a past event.. and covered it up.. toss in the conspicary charge as well... You could almost get a RICO charge as well..

Quote:
Recently, such lay review committees in the U.S. and Ireland have reported that some bishops "failed miserably" in following their own guidelines and had thwarted the boards' work by withholding information and by enacting legal hurdles that made ensuring compliance impossible.
and if those acts allowed for continual offenses.. THAT'S RICO for me..

Quote:
"Our central concern is that bishops and religious leaders retain enormous discretionary powers to decide if an allegation is credible," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish victims group One in Four.
Sorry.. not cops.. and not above the law.. conspicary charges follow if they are covering it up..

I could go on.. but sorry.. just too damn angry now...
__________________
It is because you chose to get on the mat that makes you the winner. Think about how many people are not on that mat right now. - Luis Sucuri Togno
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-16-2011, 07:17 PM
Spiritwalker's Avatar
Spiritwalker Spiritwalker is offline
Matt-4; GJJ Black Belts-0
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Gastonia NC
Posts: 4,339
Default

CNN Version...

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/0...se-guidelines/


Vatican's new sex abuse guidelines don't require reporting
By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia

New Vatican guidelines aimed at fighting child abuse by priests tell Catholic bishops they should cooperate with police, but do not order them to report allegations to the authorities.

"Sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law," says the letter to bishops around the world, using the Vatican term for a violation of church law.

Abuse crisis fuels debate over John Paul IIís legacy

Local laws on reporting suspected crimes to the authorities "should always be followed," the guidelines say.


The new Vatican advice gives national conferences of bishops until May next year to come up with their own guidelines on how to handle allegations of abuse.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi conceded that there was little new in Monday's letter, but said breaking new ground was not the point - standardizing the church's response to abuse allegations was.

Read more coverage of the Roman Catholic Church

"Novelty is not the aim of the document," he said. "The aim of the letter is to have a common denominator of principles."

Many countries' bishops' conferences already have plans in place, but some - such as Italy - do not, Lombardi said.

"For some that have already started dealing with the problem, this letter is an encouragement, and some who have never worked on it will now start dealing with it," Lombardi said.

Bishops in Belgium and the Netherlands - both facing sex abuse scandals - are working on their own sets of guidelines. Other nations, such as Brazil, Germany, and many English-speaking countries already have them, Lombardi said.

Advocates for victims said even before they were released that they would not solve the problem.

"Bishops ignore and conceal child sex crimes because they can," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "So any 'reform' that doesn't diminish bishops' power and discretion is virtually meaningless."

And the new Vatican statement will not require bishops to report suspected abusers to the police, he anticipated.

"They aren't binding or mandatory, just suggestions," he said. "Such voluntary 'guidelines' have been widely ignored for years in the past. Top church staff have known of clergy sex crimes and cover ups for decades, if not centuries."

Clohessy spoke to CNN before seeing the Vatican's statement.

Follow CNNís Belief Blog on Twitter.

The Catholic Church has been reeling in the face of accusations of child abuse from across the United States and Europe, and stretching back decades.

In the United States, eight Catholic dioceses and one Jesuit order have filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of lawsuits by victims, according to BishopAccountability, which tracks reports of abuse by priests.

The scandal has now spread to Philadelphia, where four priests and a parochial school teacher pleaded not guilty last month to sexual abuse and conspiracy charges.

A Philadelphia grand jury report released in February led to criminal charges against them by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. All five have also been charged with conspiracy.

A total of 23 priests in the Philadelphia area have been placed on administrative leave.

And a series of government-backed reports in deeply Catholic Ireland found a pattern of abuse and systematic cover-ups by church officials stretching back to the 1930s.

The Vatican says only a tiny percentage of priests abuse children, and that it is taking steps to fight the problem, including defrocking priests or forcing them into positions where they do not have contact with the public.

Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules last year aimed at stopping abuse.

They included doubling the statute of limitations on the church's own prosecution of suspected molesters from 10 to 20 years, making it a church crime for a priest to download child pornography, and allowing the pope to defrock a priest without a formal Vatican trial.

Monday's guidelines, known officially as a Circular Letter from the Vatican to Catholic bishops' conferences around the world, are a follow-up to last year's statement from the pope, "motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela."
__________________
It is because you chose to get on the mat that makes you the winner. Think about how many people are not on that mat right now. - Luis Sucuri Togno
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-16-2011, 08:56 PM
flo's Avatar
flo flo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 7,757
Default

I was raised Catholic and have many good memories of church and wonderful clergy. I don't attend any church at the moment and haven't for many years. I'm in a "searching mode".

That said, I agree with Spirit, this makes my blood boil. WTH are they equivocating on the matter? Why isn't this directive MANDATORY??? This is one of the reasons I cannot return. I realize it's not all priests but that is not the point. It's how the church, as a body, has handled all the abuse and it's just CRIMINAL that they STILL aren't insisting on quick decisive action to stop this abuse!

It makes me feel sick at heart, depressed and disgusted.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,004
Default

Its Not Manditary as far as the Romans are concerned to Report such things to the Police...obviously most do, but thats because the Victim or someone who knows the Victim tells the police....this is information for what the Bishop should do if he hears, internally, of members of his clergy.

The usual procedure then would be to report it to The Inquisition. (The Congregation for the Doctrine of The Faith) BUT in recent time (pre 2005) the Inquisition was seen to be lapse on actually bringing these people to justice once reported...and the Pope got direct blame last year because during that time..HE was Head of that Department The Current Head is was his viceroy during that period...BUT he is also American...I suspect it is HE rather then the Pope who is behind this...as I suspect he might also be behind actually certifying the Mass and enforcing the reintroduction of Pre Vatican Two ceremonial...which whilst Benedict has longed for it...he didnt get the Inquisition to sign off on it...and recently, its been reported back to the Inquisition, from the Bishops...that they dont know how to enforce it when the local churches dont seem to want it.

In Short...this is not about the Inquisition acting...or Pope Benedict not acting...its about finding a way not to blame the Bishops when it happens in their diocise..they will now tell the police...and that will mean they have washed their hands of it and cant be criticised by Rome, or the Church for the failiure to act swiftly...now whether the Congregation for the Doctrine of The Faith dont want to handle it...or will now make sure they handle it quickly to avoid the police...only time will tell.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-16-2011, 10:29 PM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,004
Default

oh...this isnt just about Bishops...

It appears the Inquisition has decided that they are going to make Bishops the scapegoats for their failure to act! But are giving the Bishops the right to report to the police.

This will mean the police are ultimately to blame when nothing happens to these priests

Do you know...I cant understand why, when Rome is going through a Traditional stage...the Inquisition is frightened to act???

Should they not be defrocking the clergy...would they not relish Judgement??? Have the forgotten that they are supposed to Enforce the standards set by Rome???

I would love to be The Head of the Doctrine for The Congregation of The Faith....because I would make public criminals out of these people, call it a revolution, and use it as justification to bring back traditionalism...I would say "look what the Libralism of Vatican Two has done!!!" I would use it as a perfect excuse to completely overhaul the Roman Church....I'm sure it wouldnt be hard to convince a tradition pope to see how he could become the saviour of Rome, by hunting the peado Priests!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-16-2011, 10:37 PM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritwalker View Post

next MAY??? WTF! What have they been doing for the past YEARS!....
Apparently Very little for the past Half a Millenia...or so it would seem
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.