At long last, the Pope has finally decided to take action against the sexual abuse of minors in the Church. The law was signed into effect on March 29th, 2019. The Apostolic letter published by the Vatican states, “Therefore, we all have the duty to generously welcome minors and vulnerable people and to create a safe environment for them, taking their interests first.”
The letter includes mandatory reporting for officials to the Vatican for both known and suspected sexual abuse towards vulnerable persons, including adults and children. It also states in the letter that for cases where abuse is found, the Vatican will provide ‘spiritual, medical, and therapeutic’ services.
The Vatican will (finally) start to vet their candidates with higher scrutiny when it comes to their ability to be around children. And, he also put into action training for the various departments where children are involved.
The action was taken following the report of more than 1,000 children who had accused bishops of the Church for sexual misconduct in Pennsylvania. Over the last 50 years, more than 4,000 bishops have been accused of sexual misconduct involving 10,000 children. All across the world, children in the thousands have been victimized by the clergy.
Clergy are often relocated from one church to the next in order to provide services to that community making this problem rampant and difficult to track the offenses. Last year, 100 bishops were called to a Summit and met with the Pope to explore sexual allegations made against the church.
The Summit was termed educational and a time a prayer, rather than a movement towards reform.