Most of the bishops’ conferences around the world have missed a Vatican deadline on drawing up anti-abuse guidelines, it emerged yesterday.
But Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s top investigator of clerical sex abuse, said that without counting Africa “more than half of the conferences responded” to the May deadline.
Or even better, you just decide not to count any of the late ones, and that way you can say all the conferences responded to the deadline. Dropping all of Africa just to get to more than half seems inefficient.
More than 4,000 cases of sexual abuse have been reported to the doctrinal office over the past decade, the office reported earlier this year. Cardinal William Levada, former prefect of the CDF, said those cases revealed that an exclusively canonical response to the crisis had been inadequate and that a multifaceted and more pro-active approach by all bishops and religious orders was needed.
Ahhh that’s a tactful way of putting it. A less tactful way of putting it would be to say that trying to deal with child rape by hiding it from the police was both criminal and immoral. (I love the idea that actually informing the police of the rape of children by employees is a “multifaceted and more pro-active approach” – it makes it sound like a motivational meeting, or a retreat to a spirit lodge with sauna attached.)
Bishops’ conferences have been encouraged to develop “effective, quick, articulated, complete and decisive plans for the protection of children”, bringing perpetrators to justice and assisting victims, “including in countries where the problem has not manifested itself in as dramatic a way as in others”, the Vatican said in November 2010.
Bishops’ conferences have been encouraged to do what they should have been doing all along and treat crimes as crimes, assault as assault, child rape as child rape. Golly gosh gee wow, how impressive.