“Pope Francis last year authorized the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate and judge claims of “abuse of office” by bishops who allegedly failed to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sex abuse. But that form of censure “wasn’t extended to superior generals, and it should be,” said Father John Fogarty, superior general of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.
Canon Law and the complementary Vatican norms regarding this field “refer only to clergy” — bishops, priests and deacons — said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.
While the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation asked the bishops’ conferences to develop guidelines and procedures on how they are adhered to by local bishops, he said religious brothers, religious seminarians before ordination or religious sisters are in a league of their own, and the canonical practice is different.
Each religious order or congregation establishes its own policies, he said. And while some may have a set of guidelines for their whole congregation, in others each province or region is in charge of setting up safeguarding guidelines, Father Zollner told Catholic News Service”. To the article >>