zaterdag, februari 20, 2016

Besides fully implementing the norms of canon law in addressing cases of child abuse, 
continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence.

BXVI, From the Vatican, March 19th, 2010

The film Spotlight chronicles the story of how investigative journalists revealed a dark and shameful time in the history of the Catholic Church. The revelations were made in Boston, USA, but it soon became evident that this was a worldwide scandal for the Catholic Church.
The release of the film in South Africa can be an especially painful time for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. The Church continues to seek forgiveness for the harm that the crime of the abuse of minors has caused.
Although painful, the Church acknowledges the role that journalists and victims played in helping to uncover paedophile clergy. Some victims suffered even more when families, society, authorities and leaders in the Church did not believe their stories. Openness and transparency is the only way that the evil of abuse can be confronted and dealt with. Sexual abuse must be exposed; it is a heinous crime.
The Catholic Church is committed to take responsibility for its failings and reforming itself so that what was shameful and hidden can be dealt with. The Church is committed to the protection of children first.
The Church in Southern Africa, under the direction of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, has setup a Professional Conduct Committee which has drawn up strict protocols to ensure that it deals with any allegations of abuse in a responsible and transparent way and in compliance with civil law.
Those entering the priesthood are strictly screened to evaluate their emotional, cognitive, social and personality functioning. This includes an interview, with amongst others, a registered psychologist.
Spotlight reminds us that we need to remain vigilant and do all we can to protect children. Any allegation of abuse will be acted upon by the Church immediately in accordance with the law of the country and the protocols that have been put in place.
For more information please contact:

Archbishop William Slattery, OFM                                                                                   
 Fr. Anthony Egan, SJ
Spokesperson for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference                       
 Researcher – Jesuit Institute South Africa

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