In advance of a mandated national third-party reporting system for allegations or complaints regarding bishops, the Catholic dioceses of four New England states have launched a third-party, independent system to report abuse by Catholic bishops.
The dioceses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine make up the Boston Province, led by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who is the metropolitan archbishop of the province.
The bishops of the province have agreed to make a reporting system available now in the wake of Pope Francis’ document ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi’ (‘You are the light of the world’) and the bishops’ vote during their spring general assembly in June to implement it.
The Pope issued the landmark document in May 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 summit on clergy sexual abuse attended by the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences.
“I am grateful to Cardinal O’Malley for his leadership in implementing this important facet of ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi’ here in the Boston Province,” Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said in a statement in response to the August 14 announcement of the Boston Province establishing the independent reporting system.
“This is an important step in assuring accountability for bishops in continuing to be vigilant in our Church for the safe environment of all our members, particularly our most vulnerable,” he said.