The Catholic Church should re-examine how “pontifical secret” is applied in clerical sex abuse cases so there is greater transparency in the cases and it is not invoked “to hide problems,” said a canon lawyer and Vatican official.
For the Catholic Church, there is a “line in the sand,” which can never be crossed, and that is to not allow anyone who harms or would harm a child to exercise public ministry, said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.
The Catholic Church needs “new legal structures of accountability” for bishops accused of sexual abuse or of negligence in handling abuse allegations, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago told the Vatican summit on safeguarding minors.
Only together, by humbly sharing their experiences, encouragement, and corrective advice, can the bishops and leaders in the Catholic Church work to prevent the abuse of minors and help bring healing to survivors, said the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
When asked his hopes for the Vatican’s summit on clergy sex abuse, “the answer for me is unmistakable,” Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark said. “What the church needs really needs is another ‘Nostra Aetate’ moment.” From that would come increased dialogue and synodality within the church, and greater lay participation, Cardinal Tobin added
The abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is a call for bishops to unmask the deep-seated clericalism that placed protection of the institution of the church above the sufferings of victims, said the head of the council of Latin American bishops.