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Rome Reports

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Bishops negligent in sexual abuse cases will be dismissed

The Pope continues to put his foot down with his zero tolerance policy against the sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults committed by priests. Through the Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio, "Like a Loving Mother," Pope Francis has established new rules to depose of bishops and religious superiors who act negligently in cases of sexual abuse. There will be a "grave cause" for removal of a bishop if, for example, he has been negligent or has acted indifferently in these cases. This is not a new law, but the Pope is setting aside time to reinforce the existing law on removing bishops for serious reasons, "because it is not a matter of crimes of abuse but of negligence of office.â? Four congregations will be responsible for investigations when there is a case: The Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The Pope will have the final word and act as the deciding factor in a bishops resignation. As a novelty, there will be a "college of experts,â? which will be composed of bishops and cardinals who will specifically advise these cases of negligence in cases of sexual abuse. AC/MB RR -VM -BN up:FV