Council of Cardinals, Proposals accepted by Pope Francis regarding allegations of abuse of office by a bishop when connected to the abuse of minors, 8 June 2015.


Proposals Accepted by Pope Francis Regarding Allegations of Abuse of Office by a Bishop When Connected to the Abuse of Minors

On June 8, 2015, the Council of Cardinals received a report from Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, OFM Cap., with a proposal for the Holy Father regarding allegations of the abuse of office by a bishop connected to the abuse of minors, originally prepared by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The report concludes with a list of five specific proposals made to the Holy Father, which are listed below.

1. That because the competence to receive and investigate complaints of the episcopal abuse of office belongs to the Congregations for Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples, or Oriental Churches, there is the duty to report all complaints to the appropriate Congregation.

2. That the Holy Father mandate the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of office when connected to the abuse of minors.

3. That the Holy Father authorize the establishment of a new Judicial Section in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and appointment of stable personnel to undertake service in the Tribunal. The implementation of this decision would follow consultation with the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

4. That the Holy Father appoint a Secretary to assist the Prefect with the Tribunal. The Secretary will have responsibility for the new Judicial Section and the personnel of the Section will also be available to the Prefect for penal processes regarding the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy. This appointment will also follow the consultation with the Prefect of the Congregation.

5. That the Holy Father establish a five-year period for further development of these proposals and for completing a formal evaluation of their effectiveness.

The Council of Cardinals agreed unanimously on these proposals and resolved that they be submitted to the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Holy Father approved the proposals and authorized that sufficient resources will be provided for this purpose.

(Holy See Press Office)




Council of Cardinals, Proposals accepted by Pope Francis regarding allegations of abuse of office by a bishop when connected to the abuse of minors, 8 June 2015, CLSA, Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions, 2015, 66.