Diocese says Reporting Child Sexual Abuse is not Discretionary

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario has drafted a code of conduct with the goal of:

“…the prevention of sexual abuse, the protection of the vulnerable, the pastoral care of those wounded by misconduct, along with the protection of the rights of the accused and the appropriate action toward those who have committed sexual misconduct.”

 You can read the report, and learn how to submit your comments, here: www.rcec.london.on.ca/abuse/draft%20policy.htm  

The policy requires that ALL complaints of sexual abuse against a minor MUST be reported to the Children’s Aid Society. The draft goes on to state:

“Personal discretion is not to be exercised in fulfilling this reporting obligation.”

 While you have to support any effort to prevent the sexual abuse of children, it is sad that the drafters felt the need to remind members of the Diocese that reporting child abuse is NOT discretionary! 

Rev. Charles Sylvestre, a former priest of the London Diocese, died in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 47 girls over a number of decades. 

One has to wonder how many priests (or other members of the Diocese) exercised “discretion” to not report Sylvestre?

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