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Experts Call for Vatican Judicial Reforms To Promote Transparency and a Fair Trial

m and the accused would be useful,” she said, “that is, if we were involved. The ‘if’ is the problem.”

Speakers at the conference said the lack of appropriate judicial proceedings and transparency also harms the accused, who are often not even told their case is being investigated. They presented examples of priests being wrongly accused and not being able to make their defense, or cases where accused priests were informed of a judicial proceeding against them through text messages.

As media attention on clerical abuse in the church has grown, various bishops’ conferences in numerous countries allowed independent commissions to look into their history of abuse. In France, Australia and Spain the reports showed staggering numbers of victims of abuse over decades.

“An organization that doesn’t know itself and doesn’t measure itself cannot change,” said Pujol, who is also a communication officer at the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, created by Pope Francis in 2014 and officially integrated into the Vatican’s doctrinal department in 2022.

Pujol said the church should be more proactive in self-reporting cases of abuse and making its own reports. “Justice made under media fire is never a good thing,” he said, adding the church should own up to its own history and mistakes.

This article originally appeared here.