July 1, 2018
By Nicole Winfield
Pope Francis has taken measures to address a spiraling sex abuse scandal in Chile, but he hasn’t moved on a problem closer to home: Vatican City itself does not have policies to protect children from pedophile priests or require suspected abuse to be reported to police.
Seven years after the Vatican ordered all bishops conferences around the world to develop written guidelines to prevent abuse, tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood, the headquarters of the Catholic Church has no such policy.
The gap in Francis’ oft-pledged “zero tolerance” for abuse is surprising, given that the Holy See told the United Nations five years ago that it was developing a “safe environment program” for children inside the 44-acre Vatican City.
Asked about the promised child protection guidelines, the secretary general of the Vatican City State administration, Monsignor Fernando Vergez, told The Associated Press he couldn’t respond “since the study and verification of the project are still underway.”
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