In his speech at the end of the four-day Vatican Summit, Pope Francis condemned clerical sexual abuse. He promised to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” end cover-ups within the church, and make victims a priority. He also called the abuse involving children a “universal problem” present almost everywhere, with a vast majority of cases happening within the family. However, the Pope stopped short of proposing a concrete plan to stop the sexual abuse of children within the church.
Summit moderator and former Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi said that one of the first steps taken will be to send bishops a handbook listing a set of guidelines on how to investigate and prosecute abuse cases. However, the guidelines states: “Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.” Who decides if an incident should be reported or not?