POLITICAL observations & opinions

* new church rules … a tiny step forward in dealing with pedophile priests … not dealing at all with the bishops who enable pedophile priests to continue their vile actions … and once again displaying the church’s disdain for women

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 16, 2010

Joseph Ratzinger ... aka Pope Benedict

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NICOLE WINFIELD (AP) writes (7/15/10) …

  • The Vatican revised its in-house rules to deal with clerical sex abuse cases Thursday, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and doubling the statute of limitations for such crimes.
  • Abuse victims said the rules are little more than administrative housekeeping since they made few substantive changes to current practice, and what is needed are bold new rules to punish bishops who shield pedophiles.
  • Women’s ordination groups criticized the new rules because they included the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime” subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse.
  • While the bulk of the document codifies existing practice, some new elements were introduced: priests who possess or distribute child pornography and those who sexually abuse developmentally disabled adults will be subject to the same procedures and punishments as priests who molest minors.
  • The new rules extend the statute of limitations for handling of priestly abuse cases from 10 years to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday, and the statute of limitations can be extended beyond that on a case-by-case basis. Such extensions have been routine for years but now the waivers are codified.

But the new rules make no mention of the need for bishops to report clerical sex abuse to police, provide no canonical sanctions for bishops who cover up for abusers, and do not include any “zero tolerance” policy for pedophile priests as demanded by some victims.

  • Scicluna defended the absence of any mention of the need to report abuse to police, saying all Christians were required to obey civil laws that would already demand sex crimes be reported.
  • The Vatican noted that bishops were reminded of this duty in a set of informal guidelines issued earlier this year and that its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex crime allegations, was working with bishops’ conferences around the world to develop more “rigorous, coherent and effective” guidelines.
  • “If civil law requires you report, you must obey civil law,” Scicluna said. But “it’s not for canonical legislation to get itself involved with civil law.”

read the entire article at … http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100716/ap_on_re_eu/eu_vatican_church_abuse

LMW COMMENT …

The new church rules seem to be a tiny step forward in dealing with pedophile priests, while not dealing at all with the bishops who enable pedophile priests to continue their vile actions, and once again displaying the church’s disdain for women.

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