Francis is enacting new rules for investigating bishops over sexual abuse or
its coverup, responding to mounting public pressure on the Catholic Church to
improve accountability after a string of abuse scandals involving senior
church law, laid out on Thursday, requires all dioceses in the world to set up
a “public, stable and easily accessible” process for reporting allegations of
abuse, including by bishops and cardinals, that protects victims and
whistleblowers. It says dioceses have to report allegations about bishops
without delay to the Vatican, which must decide within a month whether to
launch an investigation, take immediate disciplinary action or close the case.
rules seek to address complaints that the church lacked standard procedures for
pursuing bishops and heads of religious orders accused of committing or
covering up sex abuse. They don’t address the long-running divisions in the
church over how strictly to punish wrongdoers in abuse cases. Bishops in most
countries have rejected the U.S. church’s call for all abusers to be
permanently removed from ministry.
church’s troubles over sex abuse were reignited in 2018 by scandals involving
cardinals and bishops in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Australia. Growing
disillusionment among Catholics threatens to overshadow the pontificate of Pope
Francis, who after taking office in 2013 inspired popular hopes of a church
more in tune with modern society.
pope’s credibility has suffered from criticism that he didn’t take seriously
allegations of abuse, misconduct or coverup by bishops including former U.S.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, Australian Cardinal
George Pell and French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.
November, the Vatican frustrated U.S. bishops by blocking them from voting on
new measures aimed at holding bishops more accountable for abuse or failing to
act against it.
Thursday the head of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of
Galveston-Houston, welcomed the new law, saying in a statement that it “leaves
latitude for national bishops’ conferences…to specify still more to account for
their local circumstances.”
U.S. bishops’ leading lay adviser on child protection, Francesco Cesareo, said
the new legislation could stifle one element of the U.S. bishops’ proposals:
the establishment of a national commission of laypersons to oversee the
investigation of bishops. The pope’s new law instead gives responsibility for
investigations to local bishops acting under Vatican direction.
February, Pope Francis presided over a four-day global summit of bishops at the
Vatican to address the problem of clerical sex abuse. The pope called for an
“all-out battle” against abuse, but the meeting produced few specific measures.
rules outlined on Thursday aim to address criticism of a lack of concrete
reforms. They stipulate that reporting systems for abuse allegations, whether
run by church officials or outsiders on behalf of the church, must ensure the
privacy and protection of accusers and victims. Such systems are common in the
U.S. and other wealthy countries but less so in the developing world, church
enforced, there’s no doubt the new law will improve the church’s internal
processing of allegations,” said Anne Barrett Doyle of
BishopAccountability.org, a Boston-based group that tracks abuse cases. “But it
has three obvious weaknesses: it stipulates no penalties for ignoring the law,
it mandates no transparency, and it doesn’t require that abusers be removed
permanently from the priesthood.”
Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, stressed that
the new law covers not only sexual abuse of minors but “abuse of authority”
that forces adults to perform sexual acts. He told the Vatican newspaper the
new law thus applies to the “abuse of nuns by clerics or the abuse of
seminarians or novices by their superiors.”
sends a signal that leadership is subject not only to civil law but canon law,”
Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said at the Vatican on Thursday. He
said he would explain the law to congregants in Malta like this: “If I break
the rules, you must tell the pope, ‘look, our bishop is a bad person.’”
complaints are made against bishops, they must be referred to the Vatican right
away, unless determined to be patently unfounded. The Vatican is required to
decide within 30 days whether to order an investigation and, if so, which
bishop or other church official will lead the probe.
metropolitan, or senior bishop in the region, would be the presumptive
investigator, but the Vatican may choose another if the metropolitan is under
investigation himself or is judged incapable for some other reason. He may draw
on the expertise of laypersons in conducting the probe. The investigation must
ordinarily be completed within 90 days.
legislation, which takes effect June 1, also states that all clergy and nuns
are required to report any evidence of child sex abuse, possession of child
pornography, sexual assault of adults or coverup to their superiors or to the
Vatican’s local representative. This requirement doesn’t apply to information
transmitted during the sacrament of confession, which priests are forbidden to
divulge under pain of excommunication.
The law doesn’t expressly require the church to
report abuse allegations to secular authorities, but says priests and nuns
should comply with local laws.
priest of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ojota, Lagos, Rev. Fr. John Okoro has
charged members of the Lagos Archdiocesan Catholic Men Organization (LACMO) to
be good ambassadors of Christ.
made this charge while welcoming members of the LACMO 2019 Convention
Organizing Committee during their joint meeting with deanery coordinators and
parish chairmen in the parish on Satursday.
“Be Good ambassadors of
Christ, be good ambassadors of St Joseph your patron saint. Sometimes we tend
to deviate from those values that promote the church, but I know that with
little advice from one another we can make a head way. I want to thank you for
doing a good job and I pray that God will continue to bless you,” he said.
“Be good ambassadors in
loving your wives, as St Joseph loved his wife,and also his foster son Jesus.
You should be good ambassadors in loving your children also. I pray that the
lord will bless you in your works, your businesses and in all your endeavours,
through Christ our lord,” he went further to say.
President of LACMO,
Mr. John Aigbokhaode had earlier inaugurated the committee.
Lagos Archdiocesan Catholic Men
Organization (LACMO) has selected “Let’s Continue with Christ: The
way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 21:3-7; Jn. 14:6)as theme for this
year’s Annual Convention and Induction. This is as the organization has also
released the programme for week-long activity.
of the Organizing Committee of the 2019 Lagos Archdiocesan Catholic Men
Organization (LACMO) Convention and Induction, NnamdiIkemunveiled the theme and
programme for the convention at a meeting of members of the LACMO 2019 Convention
Organizing Committee, deanery
coordinators and parish chairmen at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ojota,
Lagos, over the weekend.
convention holds Friday, July
27 – Sunday, July 29, 2019 at St Gregory’s College, Southwest Ikoyi,
the choice of the theme of the convention,”Let’s Continue with Christ: The way, the
truth, and the life” (Jn. 21:3-7; Jn. 14:6)Mr NnamdiIkem said, “Professional
fisherman know how and where to throw their nets. Peter and his fellow apostles
tried that all night but caught nothing. But when Jesus the author of life said
they should cast back their net to the “right side of the boat” they became
successful. Most times right handed fishermen cast their nets to the left, but
notwithstanding that, Peter obeyed the Lord and apart from ripping the benefits
his eyes were opened to the presence of the Lord.”
we are facing a difficult terrain that is putting stress on our ability to be
good family men; good leaders of our communities; etc.,” the organizing
committee chairman stated, calling on men to continue again with Jesus:
The Way, The Truthand the Life; rather
than struggling alone.
The convention has two other
sub-themes: “The Catholic Man as the good family shepherd” Jn.10:11;
1 Tim. 5:8; Mal. 3:13-16; and “The Catholic Man the Leader of the Family
and the Community.” Jud. 6:14-16.
Other features of the convention
include seminars and workshops with “Harnessing the Political Potentials of an
Organization like CMO,” and “Starting and Running a Business in an Unstable Environment,”
as major topics.
The convention which will start with the CMO Week
in the various parishes across the Archdiocese from Monday, July 22 – Thursday,
25, 2019 July will feature charity work, Holy Mass and seminars in the
parishes. Meanwhile, all parishes have been enjoined to form liturgical
committees to ensure adequate mobilization for the parish activities.
Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has unveiled activities to celebrate the 60th
birthday of Most. Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of the
Metropolitan See of Lagos.
of celebration have been earmarked to commemorate the event, beginning Monday,
May 27, and running through Saturday, June 1, the D-day of His Grace’s
to Mr. Peter Nwanze, Chairman, All Purpose Committee, Catholic Archdiocese of
Lagos, organisers of the event, the activities included Children’s Day with the
Archbishop on May 27; Visitations of the Archbishop to Mother Theresa’s Home in
Ketu on May 28 and other charity establishments; Celebration with the elderly
residents at Regina Mundi Home and Choral Competition by the Music Commission
on May 29 as well as the grand finale on June 1.
further, Nwanze stated that the grand finale would commence with the Holy Mass
at Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos at 10 am.
titled ‘Grace to Live’ and ‘Voice of the Shepherd’ would be presented during
events had been packaged to further highlight Most. Rev. (Dr.) Martins’
Episcopal motto ‘Called to Serve in Love.’
Archbishop, who was born on June 1, 1959, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and was
ordained a priest on September 18, 1983, had over the years continued to
demonstrate his passion for service through compassion and love.