Msgr. Robert Oliver: Vos Estis breathes life into penal procedures

Msgr. Robert Oliver, outgoing secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, says Pope Francis is “breathing life” into procedures in Vos estis lux mundi.

Vos estis lux mundi is a motu proprio by Pope Francis, promulgated on 9 May 2019. It establishes new procedural norms which apply to the whole Church to combat sexual abuse and to ensure that bishops and religious superiors are held accountable for their actions.

Msgr. Oliver was speaking at the May 26, 2021 live event Vos Estis: Two Years Later, a Conversation with Canonists, offered by The Catholic Project, an initiative of the Catholic University of America which seeks to assist effective collaboration between the clergy and the laity in wake of the abuse crisis.

Because the motu proprio was approved “ad experimentum” for three years, The Catholic Project decided to gather a panel of experts in the application of Canon law on the ground to ask two years in, how is it going?

Panelists included Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL; Rev. John Beal of the School of Canon Law at Catholic University; Msgr. Bob Oliver of the Archdiocese of Boston and formerly of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and Susan Mulheron, Chancellor of Canonical Affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis.

Below the full panel session:

Creating a Pathway toward Renewal: the Healing Garden

Creating a Pathway toward Renewal: the Healing Garden

“Knowing the issue of childhood abuse by clergy and its traumatic and long-lasting effects on victims, families and our larger Church has been divisive and torn people apart, here is a unique place where people have come together in the spirit of renewal…I feel if we can come together and share something in common, we have hope that our Church can be renewed. That is my dream.”

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