June 28, 2019
Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen participated in a series of three separate votes to hold bishops accountable for instances of sexual abuse of children or vulnerable persons, sexual misconduct, or the intentional mishandling of such cases.
The votes, which took place June 13 at the Spring General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore, were based on and consistent with the new universal laws for the reporting and handling of complaints against bishops, as set forth in the Motu Proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” – or “You are the light of the world” – issued by Pope Francis in May.
The Motu Proprio is a legislative text that modifies or adds to church law, known as canon law, which applies universally to the Catholic Church throughout the world. The Holy Father’s Motu Proprio calls for a mandatory process – not voluntary – for church investigations of complaints against bishops, not just priests and deacons, for allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
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