On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Pope Francis released a Motu Proprio entitled Vos estis lux mundi, “You are the light of the world”. Pope Francis ordered a worldwide response to the evil of sexual abuse. The document calls for the establishment of easily accessible reporting systems, clear standards for the pastoral support of victims and their families, timeless and thoroughness of investigations, whistleblower protection for those making allegations and active involvement of the laity. As part of this responsibility, bishops also will be held accountable under the authority of this Motu Proprio, which covers sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable persons, sexual acts compelled through abuse of authority, and any cover up of such crimes.
In publishing this new law, which is applicable to the Church throughout the world, Pope Francis has made it clear that protection and healing must reach all of God’s children.
Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown said: “The new directives from Rome are already in force in the Diocese of Youngstown. All priests, religious and lay Church workers are mandated reporters. Furthermore, we have procedures in place for anyone to make a confidential report if the person believes a cover-up has occurred.”
The Diocese of Youngstown is committed to building upon the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in order to insure that all children and vulnerable adults are safe in all Church facilities.