Following on from our blog yesterday on Pope Benedict facing scrutiny over the treatment of paedophile priests in the diocese of Munich and Freising, in Germany, the We Are Church International network of groups have called on Pope Francis to establish an independent legal investigation of the files held at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (“CDF”) to determine the global extent of the cover-ups of clerical sex abuse cases.
In the statement requesting the independent legal investigation reference is made to state judges in Ireland investigating clerical abuse cases about 10 years ago who sought relevant files from the office of the Vatican’s CDF which the CDF refused to supply.
On 17 December, 2019, his 83rd birthday, Pope Francis announced long awaited changes to the rules governing how the Roman Catholic Church deals with cases of sexual abuse of children.
On the 9 May 2019 Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter ”Vos estis lux mundi” which sets global standards for the reporting and investigation of clerical sexual abuse.
These new rules follow on from the Meeting for the Protection of Minors held in Rome in February 2019, which was attended by Bishops from around the world.
The Roman Catholic Church remains involved globally in allegations of non-recent child abuse with resignations, criminal trials and convictions occurring in Australia, Chile and France in recent months. The allegations involve ever more senior members of the Church in their respective countries.