Home News Singapore Catholic Church mandated to report sexual abuse cases

Singapore Catholic Church mandated to report sexual abuse cases

Although the Singapore Catholic Church has an office that handles sexual abuse allegations, it was not mandatory to report them before the new rules came into effect as individuals were expected to decide based on their conscience

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore – On May 13 (Monday), the Singapore Catholic Church said it would adopt the new rules issued by Pope Francis last week involving transparency in sexual abuse cases. Starting June 1, the Church will report all cases of sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese Professional Standards Office (PSO) said in an email to CNA that although the Singapore Catholic Church has an office that handles sexual abuse allegations, it was not mandatory to report these cases. Before the new rules, individuals could decide whether or not to report sexual abuse as it was based on their conscience.

“Our existing policies and procedures already provide for what the Vatican envisages. However, a short circular will be sent … to highlight the new mandatory reporting obligation,” said the PSO.

Pope Francis issued a milestone decree last Thursday mandating clerics to report cases of sexual harassment and abuse to Church superiors. The order also allows anyone to bring up their case directly to the Vatican if needed.

- Advertisement -

The announcement obligates every diocese in the world to establish a simple and accessible reporting system for such cases within a year.

Furthermore, the 19-article decree called “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (You Are the Light of the World) raises the age of adulthood in sexual abuse cases from 16 to 18 years old.

Set up in 2011, the PSO deals with complaints of sexual abuse against children and teens, and now includes adults and the possession of child pornography. It reports all allegations to the police.

According to the PSO, once a complaint is received, a three-member inquiry is established to investigate the allegation only after all police investigations on the case have been completed.

“All complaints will be investigated, even under our existing policies. The person who reports abuse cannot and will not be subject to ‘prejudice, retaliation or discrimination’ because of what they report,” said the office.

“The law of the land takes precedence over our church investigations,” added the PSO.

“Vos Estis Lux Mundi” was declared following the numerous cases of sexual abuse around the world which has tarnished the Church’s reputation and credibility.

The Most Reverend William Goh, the current Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, noted that there was a handful of abuse cases in Singapore last year, which were handed to the PSO for further investigation. “All were ruled as inconclusive,” said Most Reverend Goh.

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Kranji land ‘erroneous’ clearing: more supervision not always best solution, says Chan Chun Sing

Singapore – Processes should be streamlined and not more layers of supervision added in public service, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Friday (Feb 26) in response to the erroneous clearing of a large patch of woodland in...

National reserves: Whatever their strategic value, Singaporeans have right to know how they are managed

  The ruling People’s Action Party is weaponising knowledge of the exact amount of Singapore’s national reserves as a way of helping it stay in power. That’s unacceptable. It does not have such an in perpetuity right. One of the debates in...

Jolin Tsai’s perky butt got the internet abuzz

Taipei -- Mandopop diva Jolin Tsai isn't shy of flaunting her figure in all kinds of sexy and revealing outfits and her fans are just lapping it up. The 40-year-old singer uploaded a couple of photos from her trip to Yangmingshan...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent