This week Pope Francis issued a mandatory reporter law requiring all Catholic diocesan priests and religious orders, including sisters, to inform Church authorities when they have “well-founded motives to believe” abuse has occurred. It also directs them to obey civil reporting requirements where they live. This Church law is retroactive and includes past abuse.
Those reporting will receive whistle-blower protection and dioceses must have a confidential reporting system in place by June 1, 2020.
But there is a glaring flaw in the new law.
The Definition of Insanity
Bishops will continue to investigate reported bishops. History has proven this fails. Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is an excellent point in case. Fellow bishops knew about McCarrick’s predatory behavior. Worse than doing nothing, they put him in the role of spokesman on the subject of child sex abuse prevention measures.
Truth Or Consequences
We might get somewhere if the bishops who didn’t report McCarrick were laicized as well. That’s not happening.
Speaking of the failure to report, there is no punishment for an individual who neglects to report abuse or for dioceses that don’t have a confidential reporting system.
Laws without consequences are ineffective, if not useless.
Clericalism Strikes Again
Instead of merely allowing lay experts to assist, Pope Francis should have made it law that qualified laity investigate all cases. But clericalism got the last word in this law.
9 thoughts on “Major Flaw In Pope’s Promising New Law”
As usual, you are spot on, Ms. Matthews!
Keep up the great excellent work!
And what to report to civil authorities, is it something that Pope Francis doesn’t want?
Dear Kathy, we are voices in the silence. We have not written earlier, but support your voice and all who share this site. We have gotten older and a bit fragile. But we support you work and your commitment. Our last written complaint was to former rep Kaye Harper asking her to be serious about this issue, which she waffled on, and look, she got booped out of office and good Democrat took her office. ,
I am a retired priest from WDC.
I had major run in with Theodore McCarrick when he was Archbishop of WDC, to the point he would not even recognize my presence. Not a great feeling when your boss ignores you deliberately.
Here, ztheresa and I have protested and stood on the Cathedral steps with SNAP. But aging and a minor stroke have reduced our input. But we stand with you creaking and upheld with a walking stick.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE AND DEEP SENSE OF CARING.
SINCERELY, REV. JOHN S. WINTERMYER AND THERESA COLEMAN
Rev. Wintermyer, it’s wonderful to hear from you! Your post brought me back to the early C4C days when you regularly posted your insights and knowledge, provided your support, and noted your activities and efforts on behalf survivors. While you may be operating differently, today, clearly time has neither affected your commitment to justice and truth nor your genuine care for the survivors of sexual. Thank you to you and Theresa for remaining honorable, steadfast and strong.
“… nor your genuine care for the survivors of sexual abuse.”
Fr Jack it is so good to hear from you! Thank you for all that you have done to support victims and survivors. We have thought of you often over the years and hoped all was well. You were very kind to us in the early days of C4C and we learned so much from all those who had been advocating for victims and child protection for so many years. Our best to Theresa also.
Wishing you and Susan a most special and blest mothers day.
You are in the trenches daily.
Most blessed are the real saints of our faith community. Not bishops, not priests ,, not even popes, but the truly great women and mothers. Without them, we have no Church.
Happy mothers day to you who are fighting so hard to protect children. Sad that not too many bishops have your courage and your loving faith
It seems obvious that the hierarchy always leave a way out for these abusers and counterparts….. Disgraceful.