Pope Francis underlines the Church’s commitment to justice for victims of abuse


Vatican City

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The Pope Francisco He stressed this Friday, January 21, that “the Church continues with determination its commitment to do justice to the victims of abuse by its members, applying with special care and rigor the canonical legislation provided.”

It has been before all the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican dicastery that also deals with trials against priests or religious accused of abuse and is chaired by the Spanish cardinal louis ladaria.

Francis recalled that precisely in December he updated “the rules on crimes reserved for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the desire to make judicial action more incisive.”

These changes did not introduce new crimes, but they served to harmonize the processes in this congregation with the update made in May of the Code of Canon Law, as well as practical or procedural issues to facilitate the processes.

Justice not by itself

The Pope has recognized that “judicial action alone cannot be enough to stop the phenomenon, but it is a necessary step to restore justice, repair the scandal and correct the offender.”

On the other hand, during that meeting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pope asked them to work to promote the recognition of “the dignity of every human person.”

“In our time, marked by so many social, political and even health tensions, the temptation is growing to consider the other as a stranger or an enemy, denying him his true dignity. For this reason, especially at this time, we are called to remember that the dignity of every human being has an intrinsic character and is valid from the moment of conception until natural death, “he stressed.

“The affirmation of that dignity is the inalienable requirement for the protection of personal and social existence, and also the necessary condition for the realization of brotherhood and social friendship among all the peoples of the earth,” the Pope added.

The Pope reviewed other issues that this dicastery deals with, such as verifying the credibility of phenomena such as alleged apparitions. Francis asked them to be prudent and to give “safe and solid indications” because although they reflect “a growing need for spirituality”, they often explicitly contradict the Gospel.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to be remembered as the heir to the Inquisition. In fact, its main mission remains to promote and defend the Catholic faith. But now the emphasis is placed on the idea of ​​promoting faith. And, the Pope said, “without faith, the presence of believers in the world would be reduced to that of a humanitarian agency.” “Faith must be at the center of the life and action of every baptized person. And not a generic or vague faith, as if it were a watered down wine that loses its value; but an authentic and direct faith”, he asked them.

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