The Catholic church has new rules for reporting sexual abuse. Pope Francis issued a mandate that all dioceses worldwide set up a “public and accessible” system for such reporting by a year from next month.
The global rule comes after the pope promised “concrete measures” to combat abuse during a meeting on the topic in February.
Most dioceses in the U.S. and Europe already have such systems in place, so the mandate is expected to have more impact in other countries.
One thing the Pope’s decree doesn’t specifically address is what happens to church officials who refuse to comply. Abuse survivors have expressed concern over accountability for years.
No church official has ever been publicly sanctioned for a cover-up.
The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office created a new hotline for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Hotline: 413-800-2958 staffed by Massachusetts State Police
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