F Rosa Rubicondior: Catholic Abuse News - Vatican Blocks Child Protection Plan

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Catholic Abuse News - Vatican Blocks Child Protection Plan

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.
President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Vatican tells U.S. bishops not to vote on proposals to tackle sexual abuse, spurns outside investigations - The Washington Post

In a quite extraordinary intervention, the Vatican has ordered the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to drop plans to debate and adopt a code of conduct that would strengthen measure to protect children and prevent their abuse by Catholic clerics.

This proposal was to be debated today at the Conference AGM, but on Monday the Conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, told them that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, acting on instructions from the Holy See, had blocked it pending a meeting of world-wide Catholic leaders next February.

The code of conduct which was to be debated had been drawn up as a proposal by the lay commission specifically established to bring forward reforms. This was a belated response to the growing scandal and more and more statewide investigations on the lines of the devastating Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation into clerical abuses and routine coverups. This scandal has already led to high-level resignations and sackings and has moved the accusations of cover-up to include Pope Francis himself, both as an Argentinian cardinal and as Pope.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Papal Nuncio to Washington
This announcement was followed almost immediately by a thinly-disguised attempt to rubbish the lay commission by the Pope's ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who said:

There may be a temptation on the part of some to relinquish responsibility for reform to others from ourselves, as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves. Assistance is both welcome and necessary, and surely collaboration with the laity is essential. However, the responsibility as bishops of this Catholic Church is ours.

In other words, ignore the lay commission and don't let them tell you what to do.

So deep is the crisis in the Catholic Church in the U.S., as with elsewhere in the world, that some bishops have come close to calling for autonomy from Rome and ignoring the strict heirarchy which governs it. Recently-appointed Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City said:

This kind of thing is a blow to what we’re trying to overcome here in the United States – the perception of a hierarchy that is unresponsive to the reality of the tragedy. I’m beginning to wonder if we need to look at a resolution where we refuse to participate in any kind of cover-up from those above us. It’s for the good of the church. We have to be respectful of the Roman Curia but also we have an obligation to our people. And our priests.

So much for Pope Francis' declared intention to reform the Catholic Church to protect children from the predatory paedophiles it recruits into the priesthood, where they have trusted access to vulnerable children and adults. Instead of welcoming local initiatives and taking the advice of a commission comprised of concerned and independent lay advisors, the Vatican is seeking to obstruct and delay reforms and to rubbish their advice.

This is not a church seriously intent on genuine reforms or protecting vulnerable children from their abusive sexual predation.

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