2010-07-17 10:15:12


Fr Federico Lombardi: New norms, a long road
With the publication of new norms to deal with and punish crimes of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy, the Church has taken an important step in addressing the question with responses that will be lasting and have a profound impact. Clear and well-known laws are an essential guide for any large community, such as the Catholic Church, which must have its own common rules, separate from those of the many different countries in which it is present.

Countries in which, however, the just civil laws must obviously be respected and put into practise by men of the Church, as by every citizen, including the crimes of abuse.
With the new canonical norms, trials can become quicker and more effective, the ecclesiastical tribunals will be augmented by competent lay personnel, the statute of limitations has been doubled and there is scope for its further extension, the severity of cases of abuse on adults with a limited use of reason and child pornography are explicitly taken into consideration.

Of course, law is necessary, but it is not everything. There is a commitment to education, the formation of clergy and staff who work in institutions linked to the Church, information and prevention, dialogue with and personal care for the victims ... A huge area in which the Church has mobilized itself, as desired by the Pope, in many countries. For its part, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to work to give aid to local bishops in formulating coherent and effective directives. The new law is important, but we know that our commitment to a purer and more evangelical witness must be a long journey. RealAudioMP3

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