The Vatican Urges Bishops To Report Child Abuse To Police… Y’Know, If They Feel Like It

The Vatican issued new guidelines yesterday telling churches to actively address child abuse by creating “clear and coordinated” procedures to handle alleged cases, listening to victims, creating “safe environment” programs for minors, and properly screening seminarians. That’s great, especially considering the Catholic church’s odious record on covering up prior cases. The only problem: the guidelines don’t actually require bishops to report child abuse to the police and don’t penalize bishops for refusing to do anything at all.

On the contrary, the guidelines value a bishop’s decisions over that of the civilian review boards that have uncovered the church’s child abuse cases in the past. The guidelines also tell bishops to submit each “credible” case of bad touch to Pappa Ratzi and his Vatican crew for review. U.S. victims rights group, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said “Until top church officials who hide and enable abuse are severely disciplined — top church officials will continue to hide and enable abuse.” Amen.

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  • dvlaries

    Finances had something to do with it too, but my parents pulled me out of parochial school just after sixth grade and just before they’d get started messing with my head on matters sexual. Today, when I’m asked what I’m grateful to my parents for it’s typically the first thing I name.

  • Cam

    Colleges have gotten in trouble int he past for having similar “Guidelines” dealing with campus rape. They have lost major cases because the emphasis was on trying to contain the situation internally and trying to convince the woman to let them deal with it.

    The church should look at the money that the colleges lost in court before proceeding with this idiotic plan.

  • Mike in Asheville

    Never hold your breath that the Catholic Church will do the right thing — afterall, it took them 500 years to admit Galileo was right.

  • Jeffree

    The Vatican’s history of denying and covering up abuse has seriously undercut their moral authority in countries like the US & Ireland.

    I know 3 families who left the RC church to become Episcopalians because they were sick of hearing all the pronouncements of innocence.

  • Shannon1981

    Why can’t the law step in and shut these people down? This idiotic. Just a way for them to continue to cover this shit up while pretending to care about the victims. What a corrupt institution.


    At what point does the cover-up become criminal neglect or more blatently conspiracy to commit?

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