The Canadian bishops have rolled out a new online reporting system where complaints, either of sexual abuse or coverup, against the Church’s shepherds can be made. Source: Crux.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new bilingual service in English and French for reporting “situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a bishop”.
According to a statement issued by the bishops, the new online service “furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors”.
Called the “Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop”, the new system is being touted as a direct response to Pope Francis’ 2019 motu proprio, or legal edict, Vos Estis Lux Mundi, drafted after a global bishops’ summit on child protection following the scandal surrounding American former priest and cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Among other things, Vos Estis enforces mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to Church authorities, including allegations against bishops and cardinals.
If taken advantage of, the Canadian bishops’ new system could signal an important step forward for the Church in terms of practicing what it preaches.
According to the bishops, the system is designed “to receive and transmit to the proper Church authorities” accusations of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, possession of child pornography, or coverup by Catholic bishops in a confidential way, allowing people to report anonymously if they choose.
The system is financed by the Canadian bishops and is accessible via its website or a toll free number provided on the bishops’ website, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year in English and in French.
Canadian bishops unveil new system to report bishops for abuse, cover-up (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)