• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italian bishops to apply disputed anti-abuse rules

AFP · 5 Apr 2014, 10:20

Published: 05 Apr 2014 10:20 GMT+02:00

The rules also oblige Catholic dioceses to exclude anyone with prior convictions involving children from working with minors, but make an exception for volunteers who are not subject to the same requirement.

In an official document published on Friday, the Italian Bishops' Conference said that this exception "does not exclude the possibility or opportunity of requiring a copy of criminal records also for them".

The guidelines state that collaborating with judicial authorities is "important" but at the discretion of bishops -- unlike in Germany or Ireland where Catholic bishops' conferences have imposed more binding rules.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Italy's top cleric, defended the decision earlier saying: "The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty (to report abuse) under Italian law".

But the guidelines have sparked fury among victim support groups, with the US-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) deploring the "stunning, depressing and irresponsible contradiction between what Vatican officials say about abuse, and do about abuse."

The Church has repeatedly been accused by victims of covering up abuse by priests and simply moving predator clerics from one diocese to another rather than reporting them, thereby putting other children at risk.

Story continues below…

Bishops in possession of information on possible abuse cases have been required by the Vatican to report to the authorities since 2010, but only in those countries where they are required to do so under national law.

Pope Francis has defended the Church, saying it has done more than "any other institution" in tackling paedophilia, and last month he appointed a woman who had been molested by a priest as a child as part of a new commission on fighting clerical sexual abuse.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain joins Juventus: official
Gonzalo Higuain is now a Juventus player. Photo: Nelson Almedia/AFP

Gonzalo Higuain completed his move to Juventus after the Italian champions reportedly agreed to pay a €94.7 million buyout clause to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on Tuesday.

Italy's government nets €759 million in air traffic sale
Italy has sold part of its air traffic service company Enav. Photo: Luigi Rosa/Flickr

The Italian government on Tuesday sold part of air traffic service company Enav on the stock exchange, netting €759 million.

After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Italy's Five Star Movement (MS5) is now the country's most popular political party. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The political pulse of Italy has changed its rhythm.

'Hoax' package causes bomb scare on Milan's underground
The suspect package created chaos for rush hour travellers on the city's underground. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

"It was probably left there deliberately to create panic."

Rome cracks down on splash-happy fountain dippers
Rome's fountains may seem tempting, but bathing is forbidden. Photo: TrastevereRM/Delilah Jay/Sean Mcentry

Cooling off with a midnight dip in Rome's famous Trevi Fountain may sound like a dream "Roman Holiday", but an Italian police crackdown has landed a series of splash-happy tourists with fat fines.

Panama Papers show Italian bribes' path to Algeria
A plaque outside the offices of Geneva-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Law firm Mossack Fonseca created companies through which the Milan oil services company Saipem SpA allegedly paid €250 million to win €9.1 billion in oil and gas deals.

Plane of US WW2 pilot finally found near Bologna
The P-47 Thunderbolt in action. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The final resting place of an American Second World War fighter pilot has been found by Italian amateur archaeologists near Bologna.

Only a quarter of Italian towns host refugees: study
Just 2,026 of the country's 8,000 municipalities currently host migrants on humanitarian grounds. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

In spite of Italy's position on the front line of the Mediterranean refugee crisis, just one in four of Italy's municipalities has housed refugees and asylum seekers.

Turin could slash Wi-Fi over 'radiation' concerns
Turin hopes to reduce potentially harmful radiation from wireless modems. Photo: Scott Beale/Maelic/Flickr

Turin is planning to cut back on Wi-Fi in state schools and government buildings over concerns that radiation might damage people's health.

Italy could make it legal to grow your own weed
Italy's parliament will begin debating new cannabis laws on Monday. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

Italy could legalise home-grown cannabis, if a law being debated on Monday gets the green light.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,577
jobs available