Skip to content

Pope abolishes secret rule that provided cover for abusers

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes
Pope Francis abolished the rule of 'pontifical secrecy' in abuse cases.

Pope Francis just ended a rule that shielded clergy accused of sexually abusing minors. 

Pope Francis has abolished the rule of Pontifical Secrecy from abuse cases.

Pope Francis has abolished the rule of Pontifical Secrecy from abuse cases.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/17/2019 (3 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, abuse, pontifical secrecy, abolish, rule


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Pope Francis has abolished the rule of "pontifical secrecy" in cases of officials accused of abusing minors. He also instructed Church officials to comply with civil laws and to assist authorities in investigating cases of abuse. Finally, he changed how the Church defines child pornography by raising the age of victims from 14 and under to 18. 

The changes send a clear message to the Church; the Vatican expects transparency and cooperation in cases that involve the abuse of minors. 

Pontifical secrecy is a rule that protects Church secrets. Usually those secrets involve the governance of the Church. The rule is similar to how governments classify information or designate
certain things top secret. Such a rule is important to have within any organization. Even small organizations have secrets. But the rule can no longer be used to protect clergy. Even members of the Roman Curia will be subject to the changes. 

The Church has been plagued with the sex abuse scandal for decades, and it has caused considerable controversy. In the past, the Church has remained silent on these cases in an attempt to defend its reputation. There once existed an irrational fear of public controversy over clergy, that the Church could lose its moral credibility if its clergy were abusing children. The Church has also claimed the rule helps to protect the identity of victims. 

The opposite has proved true. By covering up cases and by shielding abusers, the Church has suffered what it most feared, a loss of credibility, trust, and public support. 

While the Church has worked to address the crisis since the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, the most sweeping reforms have come from Pope Francis. This change is the latest in a series of reforms aimed at keeping children safe and abusers out of the clergy. 

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.