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Bishops are responsible for sex-abuse discipline, CDF official confirms

May 17, 2011

While the Vatican has called upon the world's bishops to devise common plans for handling sex-abuse allegations, the ultimate responsibility will remain with diocesan bishops, a Vatican official confirms.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who is the equivalent of a top prosecutor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), spoke to the Reuters news agency about the Vatican guidelines:

The circular letter intends to help individual bishops around the world to develop guidelines on how to process cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics, by priests, and also to produce a set of best practice guidelines which would ensure the creation of safe environments for young people in the Church.

Msgr. Scicluna said that whatever programs are set in place, the "responsibility of the ultimate decisions about what happens to his priests and to his people concerning child protection remains with him, with the bishop."


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