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Archbishop Scicluna: 'how I would explain the Motu proprio to my flock'

On Thursday, 9 May 2019, Pope Francis’ Motu proprio, "Vos estis lux mundi" - "You are the light of the world" - which establishes new procedures for reporting abuse and violence, and ensures that Bishops and Religious Superiors are held accountable for their actions, was presented at the Holy See Press Office.

By Linda Bordoni

Metropolitan Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta, Adjunct Secretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was on hand at a 'meeting point' to present the new document to the media at the Holy See Press Office.

Archbishop Scicluna, who was deeply involved in the preparation of the document, used simple language to explain how he would illustrate the document to his flock.

“If you really love the Church, you need to report misconduct; if you report misconduct, you are going to be protected; victims should know that there is an obligation on the part of the Church to listen to them, to support them, to give them the help they need,” he said.

No one is above the law

Archbishop Scicluna added that “When it comes to your Archbishop: I’m not above the law: if I commit misconduct you have the duty to go to the nuncio, or to my brother bishop, and report me”.

“If they don’t listen, redirect to the Holy See. There is a procedure where I will be investigated. You should be informed about it,” he said.

The archbishop also said that “lay people from my flock could also be called to help in the investigation: you need to know that I am at your service, I am not above the law.”

Transparency and accountability

Regarding a widespread call for transparency, Scicluna said transparency comes from empowering people to disclose crime, but also engaging people in investigating crime.

“Because transparency can be a nice word, but it really has to be translated into concrete norms,” he said.

‘Motu proprio’ result of teamwork

Asked who was actually involved in preparing the document, Archbishop Scicluna said there was a good team from so many different departments -  or congregations - of the Holy See: “it is the result of teamwork, of hard work”.

It was definitely not, he reiterated, produced just by the CDF: “we work as a team!”

09 May 2019, 17:08