Under certain circumstances and after long prayer and a profound examination of conscience, some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may return to the sacraments, said the bishops of Malta.
Members of the pope's commission for child protection have been speaking with bishops and major Vatican offices to develop and educate the church about best practices.
NCR Editorial: We hope that Pope Francis' new universal law to initiate a bishop's removal for negligent response to clergy sex abuse addresses the deficiency of accountability.
A month after naming him president of a Vatican board hearing appeals in clerical sex abuse cases, Pope Francis tapped Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to be the new head of the archdiocese.
Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's former chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases, will head a new doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.
"Obedience and closed environments also seem to have had a role in the prevalence of abuse within some religious orders and dioceses."
Malta's bishops were "surprised" but reassured by the findings of the survey of Catholics they conducted for the Synod of Bishops on the family.
The subject of the handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis came up again this morning in a Vatican briefing on the upcoming papal canonizations.
After a controversial vote in parliament Monday, Malta became the latest country to recognize same-sex unions as the legal equivalent of marriage, and to permit adoption by same-sex couples.
Shortly before the 37-0 vote, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the former sex abuse investigator for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told The Malta Independent newspaper that the civil unions bill had some good points but was not in the best interests of children.
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