• 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
Migrant crossings to Italy - what do we know?
A report this month said there were around 800,000 migrants in Libya waiting to attempt the journey across the Mediterranean. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

With 13,000 people rescued in one week and hundreds presumed drowned, what do we know about migrant flows across the Mediterranean to Italy?

Italian gran drives wrong way along motorway...for 7km
The 80-year-old was heading home after going for pizza in Alghero, Sardinia. Photo: Cost of Living/Flickr

The 80-year-old was returning home – in pouring rain - to Sassari after spending the evening with friends at a pizzeria in Alghero, Sardinia, but took the wrong direction on the SS 291.

Video
Severe storms and flash floods wreak havoc in Milan
Severe storms caused flash floods in Milan on Monday. Photo: YouReporter

A hospital accident and emergency unit was flooded, while the River Lambro burst its banks.

Rome risks rubbish pile-up as binmen strike
An overflowing bin in front of the Pantheon, Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Rome residents fear a national rubbish collection strike will cause the city's waste problems to spiral out of control.

Quiz
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi have much in common: Photos: Ethan Miller/AFP (L) and Tiziana Fabi/AFP (R)

With their perma-tans, riches and love of women, Donald Trump and Italy’s three-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi are strikingly similar.

Ex-boyfriend of Rome student found burning to death probed
Prosecutors in Rome have opened a murder investigation. Photo: The Local

The student's burning body was found by her mother in the early hours of Sunday.

Italy hunts for more foreign directors in museum shake-up
A new director is wanted for the Roman ruins at Ostia Antica, among other sites. Photo: Sergio e Gabriella trentanni/Flickr

Do you fancy overseeing one of Italy's top cultural sites?

Migrant who survived boat wreck drowns in Italian lake
The migrant died after diving into Lake Sirio in Piedmont. Photo: Ilaria Coradazzi

A 24-year-old from the Ivory Coast who survived a shipwreck in the Mediterranean has drowned in a lake in northern Italy.

Dozens of kids die as boat tragedies claim up to 700 lives
A bout of good weather as summer arrives has kicked off a fresh stream of boats attempting to make the perilous crossing from Libya to Italy. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

A week of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean culminated on Sunday with 700 migrants feared dead and survivors giving harrowing testimony of dozens of small children drowned.

Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
2,526
jobs available