Catholic Bishops Must Act Against Sex Abuse or Lose Credibility

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

St. Peter's Square(

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

Jilin Church Holds Training for Korean Chinese Deacons

The Christian Church of CCC/TSPM Hunchun City, Jilin Province held a training course for Korean church deacons

Shanghai Church Holds Handicraft Workshop

On March 17, 2019, Zhu'en Church in Pudong, Shanghai, held its seasonal handicraft workshop.

Jilin Church Installs New Person in Charge

On March 10, 2019, the Dunhua CCC&TSPM of Jilin held a transition ceremony for the head of a rural church.

East China Theological Seminary Celebrates "Theology Days"

March 16 and 17 are "Theology Days" at the Church of Shanghai.

Shanghai Dedicates New Church

On March 16, 2019, the Gospel Church in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, was dedicated after three months' renovation.

Germany Association of Protestant Churches and Missions Visits Shanghai

On the afternoon of 12, March 2019, a delegation of four from Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland(EMW) visited the Shanghai Christian Council & Municipal Three -Self Association.

Renovated Gulangyu Trinity Church Holds Dedication Service

On March 17, 2019, Trinity Church was dedicated on Gulangyu Island, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Brief Account of Current Chinese Urban Church Charismatic Movement

The Charismatic Church characteristics and an example of it.

Ningxia Layman Creates Chinese Hymns and Will Continue on

Brother Luan who lives in Yinchuan, Ningxia province is an ordinary Christian who creates hymns.

Anhui Christians Plant Trees on Arbor Day

On March 9, 2019, in Anqing, Anhui Province, believers from the city and Haikou county led by Pastor Zheng Yuguo, members of the Timothy fellowships, and volunteers visited Anqing's Zhengsheng Love and Care Service Centre to plant trees.