ON CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN PASTORAL ACTIVITY: Statement of Policy and Procedures in Cases of Sexual Abuse

Maltese Episcopal Conference


The Maltese Episcopal Conference and representatives of the Major Superiors’ Conference took the initiative to meet to evaluate the activity of the team responsible for the investigation of sexual abuse which they had set up in March 1999. It resulted that a thorough investigation was being held, instead of a preliminary inquiry as contemplated in the 1999 policy document. In fact, such detailed investigations were protracting the process. As a result, a decision was taken to review the structure and procedures of the way cases of alleged sexual abuse are managed by the Curia.

The need for a revision of the policy adopted since 1999 has also been felt in the light of the Protection of Minors (Registration) Act (2011) and the two documents issued by the Holy See, referring to:

i) Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (2001)

ii) Letter to the Bishops and to Ordinaries regarding the modifications introduced in the Normae de gravioribus delictis (2010).

In fact, the amendments proposed in this policy have taken into consideration the new norms promulgated by all three documents.

The Maltese Episcopal Conference and the representatives of the Major Superiors Conference asked me to establish a small reviewing commission which they approved. This commission was made up of the following members besides myself as chairperson:

 Msgr. Joseph Bajada, Judicial Vicar, Regional Tribunal (2nd Instance);
 Msgr. Carmel Zammit, Adjunct Judicial Vicar;
 Fr. Paul Pace SJ, former Jesuit Provincial;
 Fr. Paul Galea, Lecturer Faculty of Theology and Psychologist;
 Dr. Joseph Sammut, Lawyer.5

The commission’s workings were presented to the Maltese Episcopal Conference and the Major Superiors Conference. After discussions were held about proposals, the final version of the document was approved.

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