Clergy Child Sex Abuse Commission To Advise On Accountability of Bishops

Click here to read: “Clear Rules Eyed On Church Sex Abuse,” by Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, May 3, 2014.

Excerpts: The Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on sexual abuse policy will develop “clear and effective protocols” to protect children from pedophile priests, including procedures to hold church authorities accountable if they neglect to act on cases of abuse, Vatican officials said Saturday….

The pope “was anxious that the group be independent,” Cardinal O’Malley said.

He said that the commission would not deal with specific cases of child abuse, nor would the protocols necessarily relate to existing child abuse laws in specific countries. “Accountability should not be dependent on the legal obligations of a country, but upon moral considerations,” he said.

22 thoughts on “Clergy Child Sex Abuse Commission To Advise On Accountability of Bishops

  1. What is unclear is whether the Commission’s impending rules will apply to bishops in the past who have failed miserably on accountability, Finn among them. My concern was voiced in a question, yesterday, by a member of the UN Commission on Torture to the Vatican representative. The Vatican representative never answered the question. Never even attempted to answer the question. The Vatican is notorious for moving forward but as long as the injustices of the past are not rectified there will be no healing and the Church will continue on it path to extinction.

    1. Probably because Pope Francis as Christ’s mouthpiece has begged for forgiveness for all past “felonies and misdemeanors’ by proxy.
      All Jesuits were bidden to forgive him as their superior in Argentina through Obedience……

    2. You are correct as the injustices of the past will always effect the rcc’s injustices of the present and future and until they stop “BSing” and meet this problem head on until every Victim(s) has Justice it will remain !

  2. What is also unclear is whether there will be a mandate to report suspected abuse to the proper governmental authorities and agencies. Although The Church may believe that “moral authority” takes precedence over legal authority, in the past that has been a ruse to sidestep forcing suspected priests to face the legal system and allow them to just fade into a safe Catholic retirement home.


  3. Cardinal O’Malley said, “The one thing that this meeting showed is how many issues there are to deal with and how complex they are.” Common decency is not that complicated. Defying the law and morality is not that complicated either. It is more like a gardener with his prized flowers and they need to give careful cultivation to the garden to protect their ego. Yet their ego is blooming to grotesque proportions and is choking off the rest of their psyche. This blocks any possibility of relating to anyone else. So I believe Cardinal O’Malley rationale is still a force to suit their egocentric ends.

  4. “Accountability should not be dependent on the legal obligations of a country, but upon moral considerations,” he said.
    I so agree and I am sure all the people who claim that Msgr Lynn “did nothing wrong” will also? It is one thing to limited by antiquated is another to believe someone had no moral responsibility

  5. “Our concern is to make sure that there are clear and effective protocols to deal with superiors in the Church who have not fulfilled their obligations to
    protect children,” he (Cardinal O’Malley) told reporters.

    If the new protocols are to be “clear and effective”, how should one
    describe the previous protocols that contributed to the devastation of many,
    many children and their families throughout the entire RCC?

    Sorry to say, but “clear and effective” is just not good enough. What
    is needed and has been so clear, evident and obvious for many, many years is that the protocols must be ENFORCED AND IMPLEMENTED. In other words, all Catholics, whether clergy or lay, in the pews or in leadership, need the HAMMER to fall on those responsible for VIOLATING THE PROTOCOLS, whether they are the Dallas 2002 ones or the ones to be promulgated in the near future by the panel in the Vatican.

    On the other hand, Cardinal O’Malley might want to ask his predecessor Cardinal Law about the protocols he used to hold his clergy accountable while the Boston RCC leadership was investigating clergy abuse allegations. Why bother, the protocol that “allowed” Cardinal Law to fly to the Vatican City in the midst of such devastation and horror brought on by clergy sexual abuse was CLEARLY EFFECTIVE.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (retired)
    Philadelphia Police Dept.

    1. Well said, Michael! I don’t believe a thing they say, just look at all the promises made with the 2002 Dallas Charter. I said it then and will say it now, they did not go far enough and skirted all around the question of what do you have in place if a Bishop does not go along with the charter? Bishop Gregory promising that there will be O tolerance for priests that abuse children. Well, we see how that played out! This whole thing for me is another smoke and mirrors.

      1. Show me a bishop’s head; then I’ll believe. Finn doesn’t seem to be worried about about protocol. It’s fun being a bishop, just ask Cardinal Law. “My Bros in Rome have my back, and the live ‘n’ is easy!”

        The blame also rests with the lay members. This blog has 870,590 hits, but there are only a few (20?) regular contributors, and that’s the case with similar sites as well.

        Most Catholics read news stories involving abuse and say, “that’s sad,” then go about their business. Unless they were personally involved it is routine bad news, happens everyday. It’s just like reading about a traffic fatality when they don’t know the person. THEY DON’T CARE.

        1. Dr who,I am just happy for the number of site visits because it shows people are matter what their reason for visiting.
          Susan and I are always amazed when we encounter people who follow the site. And it is not always who you might think..and that is a good thing.

        2. Dr.Who13, One of the reasons I blog is the belief that sharing from a stand point of being a survivor may help someone who is fearful or dealing with shame. I want to demonstrate that one can get through this and that they are not alone. I want to convey hope and this site provides me a unique opportunity to express this and many other important issues. I don’t want to come from a place of anger or shame but of hope. Most of you who blog know I have been blessed being able to be in therapy for a number of years and have found an exceptional therapist. to work with. That is not to say I don’t have my days where I am so sad walking through the pain. Surviving is and always will be life-long. The wisdom lies in the choices we make for ourselves and where we want to take our life. So Doc, I get what you are saying, i also get what Kathy said. We are all fighting for the right cause, the safety of our children.

          1. Vicky, I’m certainly in your corner. I believe that if we had widespread support from the masses of people in the Church, the evil prelates would have fallen long ago.

            Most of us posting here have experienced the damage done by these clerics on a personal level. We have an insight than the average Catholic does not possess. I have told my story to many Catholics, and some found it hard to believe. Others thought I was embellishing a bit. I wish I were.

            We are different. We’ve were forced to eat the fruit from Tree of Knowledge, and we will never be the same. But, we will also never give up the fight!

        3. In all fainess, not sure about them all just reading and then going about their business, in close Catholic communities where they’re known it’s not easy to protest, especially those reared where one doesn’t speak ‘evil’ of clergy due to they’re ‘supernatural dimesion’.
          Boy what they’ve got a way with… Australia the indigenous refer to it as ‘pointing the bone’.

          1. L. Newington, I agree with you; “…it’s not easy to protest, especially those reared where one doesn’t speak ‘evil’ of clergy due to they’re ‘supernatural dimesion’.”

            I was indoctrinated into that way of thinking since childhood, and it persisted until I left seminary in my 40’s. Mind control is not easily overcome, and it often prevents one from doing the right thing.

            Priests are though to be “ontologically different” by most Catholics. I see this as pure clerical ideology that is misused to control lay members of the Church. That self-serving mindset can make anti-clerics of the best of us, and it serves as a potent barrier to stopping their abuse.

  6. Since the Boston Globe broke the sexual abuse story in 2002, a watershed of the whats, whys, whens, wheres, and hows have come to light. Virtually, the world understands the sexual abuse crisis and what to do about it. Therefore, it is beyond baffling as to why two papacies, Benedict’s and Francis’s, have neglected to repair it in a timely manner. How many popes does it take to change a light bulb? Innumerable independent commissions have grappled with the issue only to have their leaders walk away in utter disgust and frustration over the Church’s lies, hiding of documents, lack of cooperation, protection schemes, damage control tactics, secret agendas, and the like.

    Twelve years into this mess, here we have another shapeless and ambiguous commission. Its leader, O’Malley, has the nerve to surface from its first meeting with the comment: “The one thing this meeting showed is how many issues there are to deal with and how complex they are.” Has O’Malley spent the last 12 years in a cave? Not only do we know the many complex issues, we know what to DO about them. Yet, we are forced into another “holding pattern” while O’Malley processes his nebulous, 6 day old, dawning.

    Where is Francis? He’s meeting in the Vatican with Archbishop Mahoney! Mahoney tweets that the meeting never mentioned sexual abuse! Really??? Really! It was about making Mahoney the boss of manipulating Catholic Latinos in the U.S. No!!!!!!!!! Not MY pope! Not Pope Francis. Not the pope that strokes invalids! Not the pope who loves the poor! Not the pope that the media is having a heyday with!

    Yup. That pope.

    1. Boston still doesn’t include in the list the religious orders that serve in parishes. When an order wants to get rid of someone (like a perpetrator) they historically let him be a “visiting priest” and work in parishes. Yet they are not on the list! This is O’Malley’s kingdom

  7. Katherine,
    I LOVE your post above, especially “Yup. That Pope” A lot of people only believe what they see. Sure, his pictures of kissing the disabled look good. But what about those disabled mentally by priest abuse and those higher ups looking the other way, or worse? A Jewish friend of mine was horrified when I explained why I would have NEVER chosen him as Man of the Year or whatever. She was horrified by his inaction, not by what I said. I would be on here everyday, but I got too enraged at times by what has gone on in the past and present in the Church. Yesterday, of course, was one of those days, as I took my brother for yet another ECT Treatment. Spare prayers needed…Love to you all!!

  8. Off topic for a moment. Can someone please explain to me why we are not hearing ANYTHING in the paper or on the news about The Catholic Church answering questions about their poor response of the child abuse scandal before the UN? I love that representatives of the UN are telling the Church that what survivors suffered is the defination of torture, which by the way has NO statue of limitations.!!!

    1. Vicky, there have been numerous news stories reporting that the UN Committee on Torture grilled Vatican representatives over a 2 day period. I think that once the UN releases its final report on the grilling, there may be more critical news material put forth by writers and media outlets. Indeed, I expect that the final report, itself, will be critical in nature. If I remember correctly, the final report is due out on May 23.

      1. Kate, Thank you. I was referring to Philadelphia Inquirer which I read everyday and nothing is noted and nothing was writtien when the Church went before the UN in Jan. 2014. I have nothing on our phila. stations either. I hope that something will come out when the final report is completed. I just downloaded the shadow report which goes into detail how victims of priest sexual abuse qualify under their (UN) defination of torture. My therapist certainly agrees.

    2. On the topic of media
      Why did the Harrisburg TV station that was at Rep Rozzi’s event last week not show anything in the evening news. Yet they had time repeated a filler several times about phone scams. Did they not feel it was news worthy or are they afraid to rock some boat?

      1. Suzpt…..yes, I checked the media sites in and around the Harrisburg area re Rozzi’s news conference and I could not find anything. How you can have so-called “issue fatigue” when it comes to the safety and protection of our children, I don’t understand it. Such a valuable and important presentation that needed to be broadcast throughout the media sources in Pennsylvania.

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