March 29, 2019
By Thomas Gnau
A new directive requiring Vatican City personnel and diplomats to immediately report abuse allegations may represent a step toward lifting a “culture of secrecy” at the independent city-state that anchors the Catholic Church worldwide, said Dennis Doyle, a Catholic theologian and professor at the University of Dayton.
“It’s almost similar to what you find in police departments,” Doyle said Friday. “Some people are corrupt; some people are not. But people are reluctant to turn in other people.
The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time, the Associated Press reported.
Added Doyle: “This makes it actually a crime not to report incidents of sex abuse. And it specifies whom this has to be reported to, which are the Vatican prosecutors, who are going to be trained to rise above the culture of secrecy.”
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