Pope Francis issues new decree to deal with pedophile priests
“The new law also requires the Vatican to launch an investigation if ‘serious evidence’ of negligence is found.”
In the award-winning 2006 documentary “Deliver Us from Evil,” directed by Amy J. Berg, it said that in the United States alone, over 100,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse have come forward—a startling figure considering 80% of abuse victims never report their abuse.
“Pope Benedict XVI was accused of conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse in the United States,” the documentary said. “At the Vatican’s request, President Bush granted the pope immunity from persecution.”
Not only that, “since 1950, sexual abuse has cost the church over one billion dollars in legal settlements and expenses.”
Sexual abuse involving the church has over the years become an open secret. Despite the many victims coming forward, they never receive the justice that rightly belongs to them.
This is one of the points “Deliver Us From Evil” suggests. Told in a series of videotaped depositions involving the members of the clergy, as well as first-hand accounts of priest Oliver O’Grady (a convicted pedophile) and the victims themselves, the documentary suggests that the Church officials are aware of priests’ crimes and are actively taking steps to protect them.
Now Pope Francis is taking a stand against such members of the Church in its long fight against child abuse.
Often, what bishops do to priests linked to child abuse is relocating them to other parishes instead of reporting them to police or church authorities.
According to Vice News, “under the new church laws announced by Pope Francis on Saturday, Catholic bishops who cover up for pedophile priests will be investigated and could face removal from office.”
Pope Francis said, bishops must be “particularly diligent in protecting those who are the weakest among the people entrusted to them.”
Previous church law states that a bishop could lose his job for any grave reason, but Pope Francis’s new law specifically includes failure to report sexual allegations and abuse as one of the grave reasons.
“The new law also requires the Vatican to launch an investigation if ‘serious evidence’ of negligence is found. In such circumstances, the bishop would be given the opportunity to defend himself,” the Vice News report also said. “If the Vatican finds negligence allegations are true, it can order his removal or demand his resignation within 15 days. Francis has the final word on any removal order.”
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