Catholic Bishops Must Act Against Sex Abuse or Lose Credibility

By Mei Manuel, December 19, 2018 23:12 PM

St. Peter's Square(699pic.com)

On Tuesday, the Roman Catholic Church's leading experts on sexual abuse told bishops that they must take responsibility for a global clerical abuse scandal and speak to the victims or risk the Church's credibility worldwide in the process.

Pope Francis summoned the heads of at least 110 national Catholic bishops' conference and dozens of experts and leaders of religious orders to the Vatican on February 21 to 24 to discuss the sexual abuse crisis.

Victims of clergy sexual abuse hopes that the meeting will bring forward a clear policy within the church to make the bishops themselves accountable for mishandling abuse cases.

"Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world," the conference's steering committee said in a letter to all participants.

"But each of us needs to own this challenge, coming together in solidarity, humility, and penitence to repair the damage done, sharing a common commitment to transparency, and holding everyone in the Church accountable," said the letter, which was released by the Vatican this week.

The committee is made up of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican's leading sex abuse investigator, and Father Hans Zollner, an abuse expert based in Rome.

"The first step must be acknowledging the truth of what has happened," they said.

Each bishop was asked to visit survivors of clergy sex abuse in their area to learn first-hand the suffering that they have endured.

According to Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, the gathering would also focus on responsibility, transparency and accountability and "a concrete way of putting victims first and acknowledging the horror of what happened."

Last month, during the US bishops' annual assembly in Baltimore, the Vatican asked them to wait until the end of the February meeting before they vote on corrective measures about the issue.

The proposals to be reviewed include the creation of a telephone hotline to report accusations of case mishandling by bishops, a review board that would handle the accusations, and a bishops' code of conduct.

Victims' groups and some bishops saw the request as a setback; but, the Vatican said it wanted to see if the proposals can be applied worldwide and not just in the US.

This year, the Church found itself facing sexual abuse scandals in Chile, Germany, Australia and even in the United States.

 

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Top 10 Rumors about Christianity in 2018

A year had passed, but the ghost of rumors is still wandering around in the Chinese Christian world.

Dalian Congregation Attend First Sunday Worship of 2019

The Newly Renovated Dalian Harvest Road Church and Their Congregation Welcome the New Year’s First Sunday Worship.

Without the Bible, I Wouldn’t be Alive Today

If it had not been the Word of God which gave Rev Chen Yiping strength to endure manual corrective labour for twenty years, he would not have been alive today.

A Church Fellowship with Endangered Future

After the departure of five of approximately eight total bishops during the past 20 months, Moscow's "Evangelical-Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession" appears to be on its last legs.

Top 10 Christian News Stories of Chinese Church in 2018

The year 2018 signifies a phase's rapid change and development of Christianity in China, also marks a turning point for a tremendous transitional period.

Xiamen Church Celebrates Wedding Anniversary

73 couples celebrated their decades' marriage in the church.

Ningbo Centennial Church Celebrates New Year’s Eve with Testimonies and Prayer

Ningbo Centennial Church held a testimony and prayer meeting to greet the new year.

Christmas & Wise Men from the East — China?

Does the Christmas story have a special Chinese connection?

Reasons for Hope in Eastern Ukraine

During a meeting with Moscow Baptist pastor Vitaly Vlasenko on 14 December, Lugansk Metropolitan Mitrofan stressed that "Evangelical-Christians, Baptists and Pentecostals belong to the traditional confessions within our region".

Christmas Celebration of Migrant Workers’ Church: Passing On Love with Warm Actions

A close-up at the Christmas evening party of a migrant workers’ church in Suzhou city: commemorating the birth of the Lord Jesus – passing on love with warm actions.