A brand new ‘Vademecum’ (or ‘instruction’) for dealing with sex abuse accusations has been issued by the Vatican for the Roman Catholic clergy.
This newborn 20-page version of the document will most likely be updated with further with time. One of the most important changes outlined in this Vademecum so far is reporting a sexual crime not to just the Church, but to the civil authorities as well.
The previous guidelines obligated the Church members to inform their superiors about any alleged instances of sexual abuse, but they were only obligated to notify the public safety organizations if the local laws required it.
For decades the Roman Catholic Church has found itself in the center of massive sex abuse scandals, many of which involved minors being molested by clergy. In his recent interview with the Vatican News Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that the last years’ intense media coverage of those cases had become “a further stimulus to the Congregation to try to do justice in an ever more correct and effective way” by issuing the new manual.