Pope Francis Makes Rule Change That Will Stop Pedophile Priests Hiding Within The Catholic Church

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Pope Francis Makes Rule Change That Will Stop Pedophile Priests Hiding Within The Catholic Church

Pope Francis has made a historic move to remove secrecy rules within the Roman Catholic Church, rules that many have claimed prevented the exposure of clergy involved in sex crimes.


The rule of so called, 'pontifical secrecy', was formerly in place and made information regarding certain crimes unavailable to the public, with the church claiming the rule protected victims and the reputations of those accused. Now documents related to internal investigations will be made public.


The pope believes the rule change will make it easier for victims to speak out and for abusers to be prosecuted.


The move to change the rules began in February when an internal investigation into historic and current abuse within the church claimed that senior figures within the church were using the rules to shield themselves from prosecution and proper investigation.


The new policy, that is in place with immediate effect, dictates that:


"The person who files the report, the person who alleges to have been harmed and the witnesses shall not be bound by any obligation of silence with regard to matters involving the case."


Joshua McElwee, a correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter, stated the importance of the rule change. He told NPR:


"It's something the abuse survivors and advocates have called for decades. Vatican officials I have spoken to have said this was a move to show that they're serious about this. They want the church officials across the world to be working with local authorities. In order to do that, they had to get rid of the secrecy requirement. And they're also hoping that it allows abuse survivors who come forward with cases to more easily follow how the church is responding and what measures are being taken to make sure kids are safe."


Mattias Katsch, an abuse survivor and founder of the campaign group Ending Clergy Abuse, told CNN:


"For a long time, representatives of victims/survivors from all over the world have demanded that papal secrecy be lifted in cases of sexual abuse of children by priests. At the end of February at the Vatican, on the fringes of the crisis summit on abuse, the international alliance of survivors and activists Ending Clergy Abuse made this demand. The decision of the Vatican is therefore an overdue step. Now it is important that further steps are taken towards transparency—also with regard to the thousands of acts of abuse cases stored in Vatican chambers and palaces. These files must be made available for independent review and investigation."


Evidence over the last few decades has shown that widespread sexual and other physical abuse was carried out by priests and other church members in schools and churches on a massive scale, and that many used the cover of being a priest to carry out their atrocious acts. The church was heavily criticised for covering up investigations, shielding priests and silencing victims.


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Thinking Humanity: Pope Francis Makes Rule Change That Will Stop Pedophile Priests Hiding Within The Catholic Church
Pope Francis Makes Rule Change That Will Stop Pedophile Priests Hiding Within The Catholic Church
Pope Francis has made a historic move to remove secrecy rules within the Roman Catholic Church, rules that many have claimed prevented the exposure of clergy involved in sex crimes. The rule of so called, 'pontifical secrecy', was formerly in place and made information regarding certain crimes unavailable to the public, with the church claiming the rule protected victims and the reputations of those accused. Now documents related to internal investigations will be made public.
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