Bishops, Boy Scouts and public schools can use new Vatican Sexual Abuse protocols

On Monday 16 May the Vatican is issuing a new sexual abuse protocol document, giving guidelines for bishops to follow when dealing with cases of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The letter comes from the Vatican’s top-ranking Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

CDF head, Cardinal William Levada said the circular would include “directives” relating to the “reception of victims”, working with civil authorities, protecting children and the training of future priests.

Levada announced he would be preparing the document after it had become apparent that bishops had for decades actively shielded pedophile priests. The document is developed to help every bishops’ conference throughout the world design a “co-ordinated and effective programme” of child protection and of dealing with allegations of sexual abuse.

Levada is firm that Church leaders should collaborate with local law enforcement investigation abuse cases and intends to hold up the U.S. sexual abuse protocols as a model for bishops’ conferences around the world, saying they were a “real success story” that could be used for bishops as well as Boy Scouts and public schools.

A Vatican official told the American Catholic News Service in November that the circular letter to bishops’ conferences would encourage reporting accusations to civil authorities but would not mandate such reporting.

Also in November, the Vatican said bishops’ conferences were encouraged to develop “effective, quick, articulated, complete and decisive plans for the protection of children” and that those plans should look toward bringing perpetrators to justice and assisting victims, “including in countries where the problem has not manifested itself in as dramatic a way as in others”.


News category: World.

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