VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - A U.S. priest will be filtering all allegations of abuse occurring in Vatican City until a permanent reporting system is installed.
Monsignor Robert Oliver, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, will now be fielding allegations of abuse of minors and so-called vulnerable adults within the Vatican or the suspected cover-up of such abuse. The announcement was reported Tuesday in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
The June appointment of Oliver, who worked in many U.S. dioceses before moving to Rome, will be gradually phased out by year's end, according to Cdl. Angelo Comastri, papal vicar for Vatican City State.
Comastri himself was accused in June by Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò for allegedly taking part in a cover-up involving sex abuse of young men attending the Vatican's St. Pius X Pre-Seminary in Rome.
In its Tuesday report, L'Osservatore Romano said Oliver will be the contact person for anyone who "may have information or suspicions that a minor or a vulnerable person may be at risk of abuse or may have been subjected to it as part of pastoral activities of the vicariate as well as knowledge of any act of negligence by authorities."
The newspaper further reported that Comastri had sent a letter to the head of each dicastery outlining procedures for reporting abuse and notifying them that a permanent system of public reporting of such abuse would be in place by year's end.
"The system will be gradually incorporated," it said, "with the measures adopted by other relevant bodies, in particular, those spelled out" by the guidelines for handling sex abuse within the vicariate of Vatican City.
You might wonder how this horrible case was closed. The Bishop of Como removed Don Stabellini from the post of Judicial Vicar; the whistleblower, the seminarian Kamil Jarzembowski, was expelled from the seminary; the two fellow seminarians who had joined him in the denunciation left the seminary; and the alleged abuser, Gabriele Martinelli, was ordained priest in July 2017.
"Within the year, the Vicariate of Vatican City will establish a public, permanent and easily accessible system for presenting reports concerning crimes and negligence dealing with the abuse of minors and vulnerable people," he said.