Vatican: Take Abuse Cases to Civilian Courts

In order to treat accusations against priest of sexual abuse thoroughly, cases should be turned over to the civil justice system, not just to church authorities, said the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy. Cardinal Claudio Hummes said instances of sexual abuse by priests are “extremely serious and are criminal facts that the church can never tolerate in any way.... One must resolutely pursue [the case] to the very end by also turning to ordinary justice,” he said on Jan. 13. The cardinal was one of several top Vatican officials who attended a lengthy meeting on Dec. 11 with Pope Benedict XVI and Irish church leaders to discuss revelations about sexual abuse by clergy in Ireland. Cardinal Hummes said that what happened in Ireland was “a very painful fact, which certainly hits first and foremost the victims, but it also deeply hurts the heart of the church.”

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Often, we have a tendency to privilege emotional moments over the more intellectual ones in our spiritual life.
James Martin, S.J.August 20, 2018
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
Most people just don’t know that their pondering about life, about what really matters, is called theology.
Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.