On June 10th, 2015 various news outlets reported that Pope Francis had approved proposals put forward by his special advisory commission for child safeguarding – for the disciplining and possible dismissal of bishops alleged to have failed to protect children from clerical abuse. The process will be supervised by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
Victims of abuse will probably prefer to wait for the first test cases of this new Vatican department to be sure of its effectiveness. So far, no Catholic bishop has ever been dismissed specifically for failing to protect children from clerical predators, so scepticism about the church’s determination to make bishops accountable for this is deeply rooted.
Asked by us for a quick reaction to this news, Ireland’s Marie Collins responded:
“I sincerely believe this is a real step forward in child protection. At last there is a specific means by which a church leader, who is negligent in protecting children, can be sanctioned. Time will tell the effectiveness of the new measure but I am hopeful.”
Click here for Irish Times report.
Click here for John Allen’s verdict at Crux.
Click here for the NCR report.
Click here for in-depth NCR editorial.