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Pope Francis provides greater support for the Vatican to fight sexual abuse: NPR


Pope Francis published “Praedicate Evanglium”, or “Proclaiming the Gospel,” as part of his reform efforts for the Catholic Church.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP


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Alessandra Tarantino / AP

ROME — Pope Francis envisions a larger decision-making role for lay people and launches a long-awaited Holy See bureaucracy reform program on Saturday, giving new institutional weight to efforts to combat sexual abuse in the Holy See. Announced in.

The 54-page text entitled “Praedicate Evanglium” or “Proclaiming the Gospel” replaces the founding Constitution “Pastor Bonus” written by St. John Paul II in 1988.

Francis was elected Pope in 2013 on the basis of his promise to reform the bulky and inefficient Vatican bureaucracy, which serves as the central governing body of the powerful Catholic Church of 1.3 billion people. His elections to help him draft changes.

Much of the reform work has been phased out over the years, with offices integrated and financial reforms issued. However, the publication of the new document is currently in Italian only, completing the process and coming into effect in June.

This document was published on Saturday, the feast of St. Joseph, a key figure in Francisco’s ministry, celebrating the ninth anniversary of Francisco’s establishment as Pope.

One of the major changes will affect how the Vatican deals with investigating sexual abuse

The new reforms emphasize the focus of church missionaries and charity, and the need for the Vatican to serve both the Pope and the local parish. It envisions the greater role of the lay people, and not only the lay people but also the general public can lead the bishop or cardinal — a major Vatican office, and all staff need to reflect the geographical universality of the church. there is.

As one of the major changes, the Pope’s advisory board on the prevention of sexual abuse was brought to the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office, which oversees the formal investigation of abuse cases.

Previously, the Holy See Committee for the Protection of Minors existed as an extraordinary committee to report to the Pope, but without actual institutional weight or power. In all cases of abuse.

The Advisory Board is now part of the newly named Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, and its members, including perhaps the survivors of abuse, whether and how predator priests are sanctioned. Can influence the decision of the prelate to consider.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the Holy See, welcomed this change and said it was evidence of Francis’ efforts to promote a stronger conservation culture within the Vatican and the wider church.

“For the first time, Pope Francis has made the protection and protection of minors the Roman Curia, a fundamental part of the structure of the church’s central government,” O’Mary said in a statement. Enjoying direct access to the Virgin, with its own leadership and staffing, the Holy See has been reaffirmed to ensure that the Church is a safe place for children and vulnerable people. The Holy See plays an increasingly keen role. “

This document outlines the authority of local bishops

Other changes include making the Pope’s charity and personal envoys of alms by themselves the head of the Holy See, revealing that this service-oriented work is important to Francis. He led a humanitarian mission to Ukraine on behalf of the Pope.

In addition, two Vatican offices for evangelization have been integrated into one papal office for evangelization. Previously, the Vatican had a complete parallel bureaucracy dedicated to supporting churches in the developing world, where Catholics are a minority, and another office already has quite a few Catholics. The new office combines them and is headed by the Pope with the support of two Deputy Prime Ministers.

Overall, the reform document calls for “sound decentralization” to give more decision-making power to local bishops, rather than keeping Rome as the central information center for decision-making. The issue of “doctrinal, discipline, fellowship”, a warning that individual episcopal conferences cannot deviate from the core beliefs of the Church’s teachings.

It aims to break the siled nature of the bureaucracy, where each congregation operated in its own territory, by pursuing greater communication and cooperation between offices. Regularly as a group with the Pope, not individually. In essence, it requires the Vatican bureaucracy to act like a cabinet that meets regularly with the head of the state.

As the departments are known, it is clear that each “decastery” is considered equivalent to each other. Previously, the Vatican State Department played a major role in influence and importance, followed closely by a congregation for the doctrine of faith. All papal offices are equal.

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