Vatican: Bishops don’t have to report child abuse to the police according to new guidelines

The Italian Bishop’s Conference (CIE) has issued guidelines on child protection that inform its bishops that they are ‘not obliged to report illicit facts’ of child abuse to the police.

The new guidelines were released recently after the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith advised every Bishop Conference to create a document covering Child Protection if they did not already have one.

One of the conferences that was void of such documentation was the CEI which works under Pope Benedict XVI.

In their new five page document which advised Italian Bishops on how to deal with paedophilia they failed to focus on one of the most important and obvious means of combating the crime – informing police authorities.

Instead the document read: “Under Italian law, the bishop, given that he holds no public office nor is he a public servant, is not obliged to report illicit facts of the type covered by this document to the relevant state judicial authorities.”

In response to the documentation US Abuse Victims’ Group Snap told the Irish Times: “Once again the Catholic Church hierarchy has missed the boat . . . These prelates had a chance to do more than the bare minimum and thus set a good example for their colleagues around the world by putting the safety of children first and foremost, but they chose instead to put the reputation of the church first.”

8 Responses to Vatican: Bishops don’t have to report child abuse to the police according to new guidelines

  1. Luke Benn

    Disgusting abuse of Power yet again shame on them !!

  2. Cam

    Hypocrisy of the church is beyond belief! Parents should never feel safe with their children in a catholic facility because their priorities are not with the children! Shameful


    I agree 100 percent and i am a catholic unfortunately, what right do these men have to abuse our children. they shud be alowed to be men , i dont care wheter they get married go with a prositute or have sex with men (consulting in all case) of course BUT FOR FUCK SAKE LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE

  4. Robert Davies

    You’d think after everything that’s happened they’d decide not to risk anymore scandals. This is disgusting; what right do they have to hold themselves above the law. They’re just men, equal to (if not worse than) your average human being. The Vatican should stand trial at the UN court.

  5. HasToBeSaid

    According to their own Bible (the book of Daniel) these bishops (for example) have been found deficient and their corrupt days are numbered.

  6. JO

    Not sure what context they are speaking of, but if the supposed facts are from a confession then they are definitely allowed to repeat them to anyone. That is not new news.

  7. Naomi

    they didn’t say child abuse is okay, or that it shouldn’t be reported, they just said there isn’t a legal requirement to report ‘illicit facts’, when they’re ‘of the type covered by this document ‘ the entirety of which is not printed here, so we probably shouldn’t just assume that they’re talking about as severe a case of child abuse as baby rape. This does not seem to be advising them against reporting it so much as simply advising them of their legal obligations, which are the same as they are for common lay folk. now doesn’t that just make sense? surely secularists of all people shouldn’t be holding church folk to a higher standard than non-church folk and posting such defamatory out-of-context quotes just to make a bit of noise. I thought we were meant to be the voice of reason. no?

  8. Logical

    This, coming from an organisation called Secular Europe Campaign, smacks of bias to say the least, and appears to distort meaning by omitting facts – as at least one comment herein alludes to. So what is the point of such an organisation as SEC anyway, given it contributes in no practical way to the well being of any individual? On the other hand the Catholic church does make such contributions, at the grass roots level, all around the world; one of the few organisation to do so.

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