Local church takes child abuse seriously

St. Peter's Church  Photo: CNP

St. Peter’s Church Photo: CNP

The Vatican recently announced that bishops are not required to report suspects of Child abuse to the police. A document released by the Vatican suggests that the job of the bishop is to only address matters of child abuse internally. But St. Peter’s Church, a Catholic church in Cardiff, says that it takes allegations of child abuse very seriously. 

Father Tony Furlong, a Parish Priest at the Church in Roath described the child abuse protection policy of his church. “Any alleged accusation of child abuse is, as a matter of policy, reported directly to the police.” He explained that this delicate matter is dealt with differently, in different parts of the world, according to the type of society the church is in. Father Tony said the situation of Catholic churches is very sensitive in places like the Middle East. “New bishops in England and Wales are absolutely clear that every case of child abuse has to be reported directly to the police. That’s unambiguous.”

St. Peter's Cathedral, Vatican: CC

St. Peter’s Cathedral, Vatican  Photo: CC

The Catholic church has been under fire for child abuse by members of the clergy which resulted in protests all over the world. Pope Francis recently addressed the matter. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is a special commission created by the Pope to develop “best practices” to prevent clerical abuse. Hence, this document regarding child abuse came as a shock to many. It provides instructions for senior clergy members on how to deal with allegation of abuse and be aware of the news. These guidelines were written by a French monsignor and psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, also a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family.

NSPCC is an organization for child abuse prevention and this is the statement they have provided in this case, “The suggestion that any individual may be exempt from reporting known or suspected child abuse puts children at risk. If we are to stop the sexual abuse of children, we rely on adults being vigilant and taking action to protect them. The NSPCC believes that child protection is everyone’s responsibility. No-one should be exempt.”

Cardiff has not had any major clerical child abuse cases in recent years. The last reported case was in 1998 against Father John Lloyd.

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    St. Peter's Church Cardiff