Vatican offers online summary of sex abuse procedures

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has placed online a summary of its procedures for handling sex abuse allegations against priests, in order to illustrate the church’s commitment to protecting children and punishing offenders.

The online “introductory guide” lists the investigative steps, trial options and possible penalties for clerical sex abuse of minors, including dismissal from the priesthood. It underlines the local bishop’s responsibility to follow civil law in reporting such crimes to the appropriate authorities.

“This is to help the public understand how we facilitate, how we proceed. This is transparency, transparency of the Vatican. We have nothing to hide,” Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, said April 10.

The Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures Concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations is available in English at: www.vatican.va/resources/resources_guide-CDF-procedures_en.html.

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