I'm very impressed with the way Pope Francis is handling matters concerning child abuse and the Catholic Church. It is quite a change of direction and leadership in this centuries old world wide institution with a long history of human rights abuses.
I invite your comments on this article and also ask if you feel there will ever be a time in the WT world where this type of leader may arise and begin to clean house.
The comments after the article are also quite eye-opening.
The new procedures seek to answer long-standing demands by survivors of abuse that the Vatican hold bishops accountable for botching abuse cases. Victims have long accused bishops of covering up for pedophiles, moving rapists from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police — and suffering no consequences.
In the law, Francis said a bishop can be removed if his actions or omissions cause “grave harm” — physical, moral, spiritual or financial — to individuals or communities.
The bishop himself doesn’t need to be morally guilty. It’s enough if he is purely lacking in the diligence required of his office.
The procedures call for the Vatican to start an investigation when “serious evidence” is provided that a bishop was negligent. The bishop can defend himself. At the end of the investigation, the Vatican can prepare a decree removing the bishop or ask him to resign. If he doesn’t, the Vatican can issue a removal decree.
Even before the new procedures were announced, two U.S. bishops who bungled abuse cases resigned on their own: Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, and Archbishop John Nienstedt in St. Paul and Minneapolis. They were presumably pressured by the Vatican to step down after civil authorities got involved.
Canon lawyers, though, say said such arm-twisting resignations do little to “repair scandal and restore justice,” which the Church’s penal law system is supposed to accomplish.
By Nicole Winfield | AP June 4 at 10:03 AM