Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'I got the power': Womanspreading takes hold of social media (and maybe 2018)

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

What a story! France investigating Russian billionaire and senator over tax fraud

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US retailers gear up for post-Thanksgiving splurge

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Stars join campaign to #FreeCyntoiaBrown

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard bargaining: Lebanon prime minister returns and suspends resignation

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Keepers of the flame: Native American communities seeking to protect their cultural legacy

Read more

FOCUS

Tunisians disillusioned, seven years after revolution

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Indonesia: New orangutan species found in Sumatra

Read more

Europe

Vatican's online rules say abusive priests to be handed to civil authorities

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-12

In its online guidelines for handling sex abuse cases posted Monday, the Vatican said paedophilia cases should be reported to civil authorities and that the Pope can intervene to defrock offenders.

AFP - Priest sex abusers should "always" be turned in to civil authorities, the Vatican said Monday in guidelines on handling paedophilia cases posted on its website.
  
"Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed," state the guidelines compiled from existing Vatican rules.
  
The document also confirms that the pope can intervene directly to defrock the worst offenders.
  
"In very grave cases where a civil criminal trial has found the cleric guilty of sexual abuse of minors or where the evidence is overwhelming," the pope may issue a decree to remove him from the priesthood, it says.
  
"If the allegation has a semblance of truth the case is referred to the CDF," its says, referring to the Vatican's morals watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  
"There is no canonical remedy against such a papal decree," add the guidelines, drawn from the Church's canon law and a papal instruction signed in 2001 by then Pope John Paul II.
  
The decree on "serious crimes" was drafted by the CDF when it was headed by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict XVI.
  
The Vatican announced Friday that it would post the guidelines as a way of helping Roman Catholic authorities deal with predator priests.
  
It said the guidelines, published in English only, were a summary of operational procedures that were set down in an internal CDF document in 2003.
  
Large-scale paedophilia scandals have rocked the Catholic Churches of Ireland, Austria, the United States and the pope's native Germany in recent months.
  
The pontiff, who turns 83 on Friday, has himself faced allegations that he failed to take action against predator priests both as head of the CDF and earlier as the archbishop of Munich.
  
On Friday he faced fresh charges that he dragged his feet over defrocking a predator priest in California.
  
The same day the Canadian Church was hit by revelations that bishops sought to hide a paedophile priest's crimes by urging the Vatican not to promote him some 20 years ago.
  
Norway joined the list of churches embroiled in scandal last Wednesday with the disclosure that one of Norway's former bishops, the German-born Georg Mueller, had abused a choirboy in the early 1990s.
 

Date created : 2010-04-12

  • CATHOLIC CHURCH

    Cardinal defends embattled pope against 'idle chatter'

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    New child-sex cover up claim hits pope

    Read more

COMMENT(S)