Sexual Abuse Is A Religious, Not A Secular Issue

One would assume if evidence was uncovered that person X was involved in sexually abusing young people, this information should be reported to the police. But, in Denmark, Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, the highest ranking Catholic official in the country has a different take on such situations. He has been advised by a lawyer that he is not obligated to immediately report cases of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in the Catholic Church. Such cases are initially handled by a special ethics committee composed of a priest, lawyer and social worker. The Bishop emphasizes, “my conduct in those kinds of cases would be dependent on what the ethics committee recommends.” He did note that all members of the church have received guidelines on how to conduct themselves in issues pertaining to sexual abuse.

It is clear how members of the Catholic Church should conduct themselves when abusing children, have a discussion with an ethics committee. I confess-not to a priest, that is, my confusion about why it is justified not to report a crime to the police.