Pope Francis issues norms for removal of bishops for negligence in sex abuse cases


Pope Francis

 In a landmark move toward accountability, Pope Francis has established new norms that provide for the dismissal of bishops when they demonstrate "lack of diligence" in protecting minors or vulnerable adults from the sexual abuse of priests.

The norms say a bishop does not need to have "grave morally culpability" in order to be removed; serious negligence by the bishop is enough.

Current church law provides for removal of bishops for "very grave cause." The new norms state that in the cases of sexual abuse, removal can be for "grave cause." This slight wording change is considered significant. According to Vatican Radio, it effectively lowers the standard needed for a bishop to be removed from office in such cases. It certainly puts bishops on notice that their actions or lack of them will receive greater scrutiny in Rome.  Read More...