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Belief Beat

Vatican’s New Sex Abuse Rules: Step Forward, But Not Far Enough?

Updated at 3:30 p.m. EST to add reaction roundup links.

The Vatican has issued its revised church guidelines, clarifying how clergy abuse should be handled (along with other forbidden acts, such as ordaining women).

Based on the Associated Press, The New York Times, On Faith, and a few other outlets I’ve checked this morning, the guidelines are a step in the right direction, but as expected, victims and their advocates say they don’t go far enough — particularly since there’s still no codified requirement for bishops to report abuse to the police. Some also take exception to including female priests in the same category as pedophile priests, at least in terms of crimes “against the sacraments.”


Here are some links to reactions in media outlets and the blogosphere:

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


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Comments read comments(4)
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Flying Spaghetti Monster

posted July 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Sounds like the Catholic version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

report abuse


posted July 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I see that it also categorizes an attempt to ordain a woman as just as serious as clerical sex abuse of minors and heresy.
Which brings up the question, is that by way of making clerical sex abuse of minors less serious – after all it’s been rather common in the RCC and covered up for decades or is it by way of making attempted ordination of women more serious.
Since they used to burn heretics at the stake I guess if the RCC ever takes over any countries women had better not be found getting ordained.

report abuse


posted July 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Seems like every article elsewhere states things just a little differently. The one I read besides this one said that the Church “ordaining women” will be considered the same way a schism, pedofilia, and something else considered bad by RCC, as the same. Some sex abuse can be allowed to not be reported to the police. If the latter is true, than what has changed? They seriously are afraid to ordain women, very strange in 2010.

report abuse


posted July 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

The Church moves somewhat slowly according to the media-driven culture but that is definitely not a bad thing.

report abuse

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