Victims of Sex Abuse describe Vatican’s tribunal secrecy as “another form of abuse”
This is a long article, and well worth clicking the link to read it. I’m not sure how long the link will be “active”. The first few paragraphs are below:
RNS) Daniel Donohue doesn’t know when the call will come.
He could be anywhere—at the supermarket, poolside with his four children, or in a classroom studying social work—when he learns the fate of the priest he says molested him as a teenager.
Donohue testified against the priest at a church tribunal in 2006 and again 2007. Since then, he has heard almost nothing about his case from the Archdiocese of New York or the Vatican.
“There is nothing I can do, no one I can talk to, no information forthcoming,” said Donohue, who now lives in Portland, Ore. The priest and his family likely live under the same cloud of unknowingness, Donohue notes.
Like other sex abuse cases moving through Catholic Church’s canon law system, Donohue’s is veiled by “pontifical secrecy,” a little-known policy that is gaining new prominence as the church weathers another wave of cover-up accusations.
Participants in church sex abuse trials are bound by oath not to divulge details about the proceedings, or at what stage the case is; not even victims and accused priests are kept apprised.
For the hundreds of Americans who have lodged abuse claims, and many priests who have denied accusations, the Vatican’s modus operandi can be a jarring contrast to the relatively open criminal justice system in the U.S.