Correction of media reports on recent Vatican document
Bishop John McAveavey has explained the reasons for the revised document from the Vatican, published this week.
"Some media interpretation of yesterday's publication attempts to draw an equivalence between the ordination of women and child sexual abuse. This is unfounded. The former offence relates to the sacraments, the latter to immorality. The fact that a variety of issues are dealt with in one document does not imply in any context that all these issues are equivalent."
"I welcome in particular the fact that the new Norms refer to sanctions against abusers of vulnerable adults, including those with special needs of any age. By placing this abuse on a par with the abuse of children and young people, the Church wishes to highlight the dignity of those with special needs and its desire to keep them safe.
"I also welcome the making explicit of the crime of child pornography relating to the ‘acquisition, possession or disclosure' by a member of the clergy. In this way the Church wishes to highlight the horrendous degradation of children used in the production of pornographic materials.
"Earlier this year the Holy See said that the civil law concerning the reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed. This has been the policy in the Irish Church since 1996."