Ending ‘clericalism,’ taking immediate action
In a speech on the first day of the meeting, Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, president of the Latin American Episcopal Council, called for an end to what he called “clericalism.”
“We encounter a mistaken understanding of how to exercise ministry that has led to serious errors of authority which have increased the severity of the crisis. This has a name: clericalism,” he explained, as reported by Vatican News.
“There is no possible justification for not denouncing, not unmasking, not courageously and forcefully confronting any abuse that presents itself within our Church.”
Salazar went on to say that bishops putting an end to clericalism means taking immediate response to any allegations of abuse leveled at priests in their jurisdiction.
“Every denunciation must immediately trigger the procedures that are specified both in canon law and in the civil law of each nation, according to the guidelines established by each episcopal conference,” continued Salazar.
“Today it is clear to us that any negligence on our part can lead to canonical penalties, including removal from ministry, and civil penalties that can even lead to imprisonment for concealment or complicity.”