Monday, November 29, 2010

Guidelines change nothing
New Vatican guidelines on child abuse leave the door open to more cover-ups
New guidelines from the Vatican aimed at creating “a co-ordinated and effective programme” of child protection are to be sent out to bishops around the world. They will not instruct bishops to report sex abuse by clerics to the police, only for them to “collaborate” with the authorities when crimes are reported by others or uncovered by external agencies.

The guidelines will stress the importance of diocesan bishops convincing the public of their “effective commitment” to protect children attending church schools. It will also tell the hierarchy to be “attentive” in the selection and formation of future priests and religious.

An advance outline of the directive, which is to be circulated to the national conference of bishops, was given in the presence of the Pope at a summit of 150 cardinals in the Vatican last Friday by Cardinal William J Levada, who is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

NSS member Sue Cox, a survivor of abuse herself and now a campaigner for others, said: “As usual, the Vatican is trying to dictate the terms. As usual they completely sideline the issues, and refuse to acknowledge their responsibility to the thousands of abused people who are still battling them for justice. The point is very much that until the church accepts that it needs to look outside the organisation and undertake full independent reviews, opens up to external scrutiny, it will neither deal with past issues – nor show any signs of moving forward.”

No comments: