Vatican issues universal guidelines on sex abuse

By Cindy Wooden, 12 April 2024
Pope Francis meets with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Image: Vatican Media


The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has reaffirmed the requirement that every diocese, Catholic religious order and institution in the world have clear safeguarding guidelines and procedures and that they are publicly accessible.

The commission’s “Universal Guidelines Framework” also insists that “all reports of sexual abuse should be reported to the civil authorities” and that the local church maintain evidence that they have cooperated with civil authorities in investigating and responding to the allegations.

“Given the vastly different cultural contexts in which safeguarding policies and procedures are required to operate, the Commission will engage in a targeted series of pilot programs to evaluate their effectiveness especially in those parts of the Church that have little experience of implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding guidelines,” the commission said in a statement published with the framework April 5.

While being sensitive to local cultural differences, the commission said, “the zero-tolerance approach to abuse” must be maintained.

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With thanks to America and Catholic News Service (CNS) where this article originally appeared.


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