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Archbishop: No One Above Civil or God’s Law
A new papal law requiring priests and religious to report sexual abuse and misconduct provides “clear directives for universal accountability in response to the horrors of clergy sexual abuse,” Archbishop Vigneron has told Detroit Catholic. The law provides whistleblower protections for anyone making a report and requires all dioceses to have a system in place to receive the claims confidentially. And it outlines internal procedures for conducting preliminary investigations when the accused is a bishop, cardinal or religious superior.
“I am deeply sorry to all those who have been injured and are enduring a lifetime of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering because of perverse actions by those in authority,” the archbishop said. “No one is above civil law, and importantly, no one is above God’s law.”
Pope Francis announced the new norms on May 9. They go into effect June 1. To learn more about the groundbreaking new church law, go to detroitcatholic.com.
Individuals with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or church representatives are urged to contact local law enforcement and the Michigan Attorney General’s office. Individuals also may contact the Archdiocese of Detroit by visiting protect.aod.org.