Moral failure: Pope Francis issues new church law that sexual abuse must be reported to church officials, but not the police, not the state, not the secular authorities.
The BBC reports:
Pope Francis has made it mandatory for Roman Catholic clergy to report cases of clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups to the Church.
Many in the mainstream media are praising the new law as “groundbreaking.” And to be fair, it is a slight improvement. Previously church officials were not mandated to report sexual abuse, or suspected sexual abuse, to anyone. The new church law changes that. The BBC notes:
For the first time, clerics and other Church officials will be obliged to disclose any allegations they may have heard. Previously, this had been left to each individual’s discretion.
Yet the new law mandates that reports be made to church superiors, not the police, not the state, not the secular authorities. Reporting on the story The Guardian notes:
However, the church law does not require police to be notified. The Vatican has said that different countries’ legal systems make a universal reporting law impossible, and that imposing one could endanger the church in places where Catholics are a persecuted minority.
Writing for Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta finds that the new laws for reporting abuse “don’t go far enough” noting:
There’s no rule requiring priests to report the allegations to law enforcement officials.
Footnote: Historical research included within this post
Footnote: Historical research included within this post by Author: Kindness It was the issue of illegal Priest conduct being tried in Ecclesiastical Courts not Common Law Court that caused Henry II to curse his Bishop, and resulted in 3 of his Knights crossing the English Channel and murdering Thomas Beckett on the steps of Canterbury Cathedral. That was late December 1170, the Catholic Church does not appear to have learned much in 900 odd years.⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️