Really? This was still a thing?
Courtesy of CNN:
Pope Francis has abolished Vatican secrecy rules for cases of sexual abuse, effectively allowing the Catholic church to share documents and information with civil authorities, and allow victims to be updated of the status of their cases.
The church already shares files with authorities in some countries, such as the United States, but the practice is not universal. Some Catholic churches around the world have invoked the “pontifical secret” to refuse cooperation in certain cases.
Pontifical secret is considered the highest level of confidentiality in church law which covers a number of administrative cases at the Vatican, such as nominations of cardinals, investigations by the Secretariat of State, and by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The violation of pontifical secrecy can result in excommunication from the church
“Pontifical secret is no longer an excuse,” the Vatican’s top investigator for sexual abuse, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said.
Scrapping the secrecy rule comes after several church officials criticized it during the historic Vatican summit in February, which focused on combating clergy sexual abuse.
Leaders had argued that secrecy in sexual abuse cases was outdated and that church officials were using it to hide behind instead of cooperating with civil authorities.
Gee, no shit!
I know that a lot of folks want to celebrate Pope Francis as a reformer and give him credit for pushing Catholicism into the 21st Century, but I think those accolades are given a little too freely.
This move, in particular, does not show an ancient religious faith becoming more open to scrutiny but rather one that is finally bowing to pressure from the public to punish those who rape our children.
Do not forget that the Catholic Church systematically protected pedophiles for decades, and perhaps even hundreds of years, while vulnerable children were being victimized by the thousands.
Neither the Pope nor the Catholic Church deserve congratulations for doing something that should have been done decades ago.