UnNews:Vatican to issue abuse guidelines

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20 November 2010

Priest-abuse-manual
New abuse guidelines for priests

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has said it will issue a new book of guidelines on how to conduct sexual abuse, which will be circulated to bishops around the world. "These guidelines offer a coordinated and efficient programme of conducting abuse", the Vatican, said. But critics of the guidelines call the publication nothing more than a “sex instruction book” for priests.

There has been a wave of cases in which Church authorities in Europe, Australia and North and South America failed to deal properly with priests accused of improper child abuse, sometimes just moving them to new parishes where more children were put at risk.

Cardinal William Levada, who led Friday's discussion at the Vatican, spoke of the need to listen to victims' needs and desires in order to better understand what choirboys like. “This enables us to tailor the abuse to satisfy the victim. When the victims are satisfied then there will be no need of abuse guidelines. At the moment these guidelines are needed.”

But the US-based abuse victims group, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said it was disappointed by the meeting, saying the Church should stop making "lewd gestures." "We didn't have high hopes for this meeting because these church officials are the same men who improperly and unsatisfactorily abused so many choir boys," Snap said in a statement.

The group also called on the Church to release files on the abuse methods so that parents could understand what their children will face when interacting with priests who are correctly trained in child abuse.

Some cardinals have criticized the attention given to the sex abuse scandal. "I'm tired of talking about this topic," Mexican Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán told reporters after the talks. “It doesn’t take a genius to know how to abuse a choir boy. There is no need of guidelines for abuse. I've had it up to here with sex education."

But Pope Benedict has attempted to create more opportunities for the cardinals to discuss important ways and means of properly and efficiently abusing children. With the Pontiff’s backing the new abuse guidelines seem sure to catch on.

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