Friday, February 12, 2016

Vatican Sends Mixed Messages On Protection of Abuse Victims

Vatican Radio reports that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors released a communique on Feb. 8 at the end of its week-long Plenary Session. The document details existing and planned initiatives to educate clergy and others on the protection of minors.  However, The Guardian reported in a Feb. 10 article that a training course that is offered for newly appointed bishops sends a different message. Guidelines written by controversial French monsignor and psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family, that were released earlier this month by the Vatican for comment are part of the training program.  They tell new bishops that it is up to victims and their families whether to report abuse to police, adding:
According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds.
[Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]