Pope Francis creates a tribunal to judge bishops negligent in the face of clerical abuse
In many cases of clerical sexual abuse, victims were humiliated twice. First, from the actual abuse, and then again when bishops failed to take appropriate actions after hearing reports of abuse.
This has prompted Pope Francis to create a new tribunal at the Vatican which will deal with cases of "abuse of episcopal office.â?
F. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"One aspect of the abuse of office is the failure to do what one should have done in that office, not acting responsibly when he should have.â?
Just last summer, Pope Francis had promised several abuse victims that he would act against this kind of negligence.
July 7, 2014
"I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves.â?
From now on, when a bishop is negligent or slow to respond to an act of sexual abuse, he could be reported to the new tribunal, which would independently judge the bishop. The new tribunal will become part of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith.
Until now, when a bishop committed a serious offense, the Vatican or the Pope asked him to resign their title, as happened with a U.S. bishop in April. Now, in the most serious cases, offenders will be dismissed from their responsibilities in the diocese.