Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel Comments On Pope Francis' May 9 Motu Proprio

By The Message Staff
Bishop Joseph M. Siegel

EVANSVILLE, May 9 – Bishop Joseph M. Siegel of the Diocese of Evansville offers the following comments on “Vos estis lux mundi,” Pope Francis’ May 9 Motu Proprio:

“Across the Diocese of Evansville, we continue to pray for the victims of sexual abuse, and for the protection of children, young people and all vulnerable people.

“Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio, ‘Vos estis lux mundi,’ is a worldwide response to the evil of sexual abuse. The Holy Father makes clear in this apostolic letter that protection and healing must reach all of God’s children.

“The Diocese of Evansville has had in place for more than 15 years the kind of reporting framework the pope has mandated for the worldwide Church. Since the 2002 adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, this and other U.S. dioceses have maintained and promoted systems for the reporting of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable people.

“The pope’s Motu Proprio expands accountability to cardinals, archbishops and bishops, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has already begun the work of implementation measures for deliberation next month at the USCCB Plenary.

“The rules, which take effect worldwide on June 1, will be subject to review after three years. The desire to make this system as effective as possible – and to provide the utmost protection and healing to victims of abuse – necessitates an ongoing process of review and, where necessary, improvement.

“I encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse by clergy to report it to the local civil authorities. I also encourage reporting to the Diocese of Evansville Victim Assistance Coordinator – toll-free at 866-200-3004 or locally at 812-490-9565.

“As Pope Francis writes in his apostolic letter, although much has been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past while looking with hope to the future.”

Editor's Note - follow this link to a downloadable copy of the full text of “Vos estis lux mundi"