Noting the reporting of a speech by Archbishop Herranz and agreeing with the attention that should be given to the current Canon laws regarding sexual misconduct by priests.
 

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1218 K Wed 8 May 2002

Its interesting to see two Catholic news sites reporting today on Archbishop Herranz's speech:

CHURCH LAW ADEQUATE FOR SEX-ABUSE CASES, SAYS VATICAN OFFICIAL

VATICAN, (CWNews.com) -- While American bishops will meet in June to determine national policies regarding priestly sexual misconduct, the Vatican's top canon-law official has pointed out that existing Church law already provides adequate means of addressing the problem.

In a speech he delivered at the University of Milan last week-- reported in the Italian magazine Expresso-- Archbishop Julian Herranz said that the Church has the canonical structures in place to handle questions of priestly sexual misconduct. For example, the archbishop observed that the Code of Canon Law (#1395) already prescribes the penalty of laicization for priests who are guilty of pedophilia. ...

I see the speech and the reporting of it as expressing similar concerns as my letter in The Age yesterday. If bishops want new procedures they can make suggestions. But it should not be forgetten that there are already procedures and that full use should be made of them.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 8 May 2002.

Other sites:

Church Law Adequate story

Catholicnews.com "Vatican official says church has legal tools to address sex abuse"