Bishops OK plan to implement ‘motu proprio’ on addressing abuse

Baltimore (CNS) The U.S. bishops approved a plan to implement the “motu proprio” “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”) issued in May by Pope Francis to help the Catholic Church safeguard its members from abuse and hold its leaders accountable. The “motu proprio” was one of the measures that came out the Vatican’s February Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse attended by the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences.

Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine attends morning prayer during the spring general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore June 13, 2019. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The implementation plan passed on June 13, the last day of the bishops’ June 11-13 general meeting in Baltimore. Directives for implementing the new juridical instrument in the U.S. church were formally presented to the bishops June 11. “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” established “procedures for reporting complaints of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable persons by clerics or by members of institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. “The ‘motu proprio’ likewise holds church leaders accountable for actions or omissions relating to the handling of such reports,” he added.

The USCCB has launched a new website for the protection of children, visit www.usccbprevention.org for resources.