New law to hold Catholic Church accountable for sexual abuse

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Pope Francis issued an important new effort to hold the Catholic Church accountable for sexual abuse.

The law requires all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report sexual abuse and cover-up. Priests and nuns now have to report any wrongdoing by their superiors to church authorities.

The new law makes the world’s 415,000 Catholic priests and 660,000 nuns mandated reporters. Reporting used to be left up to conscious but now it’s mandated by church law. 

22News spoke with Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield about why this new law is so important.

“There are clarifications in how to report anybody in the hierarchy: cardinal, archbishops, or bishops. There’s a very clear way to alienate reporting any type of sexual abuse or cover-up of sexual abuse.” Rozanski said.

The bishop also said that the Diocese of Springfield already has a reporting system in place to report any sexual abuse.

He added they will make changes to the system required by the Pope’s new church law. The new law does not, however, require Catholic priests and nuns to report to the police. 

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