A special court will try bishops responsible for mishandling sex abuse cases.
Pope Francis set the wheels in motion by decreeing its establishment at the recommendation of a papal commission.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the special court will try bishops for misconduct committed in office when these are related to abuse of minors.
It’s the first time a pope has moved to punish a bishop for improper handling of abuse cases involving the clergy, although the Vatican has punished hundreds of priests for sex abuse since 2000s when scandals began to rock the church.
A number of bishops accused of mishandling such cases have resigned, notably Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City.
Finn was convicted in 2012 by a local court for failing to report a priest involved in child pornography.
A papal commission on child protection recommended the establishment of a special court to the Councils of Cardinal which in turn endorsed the proposal to Pope Francis, according to WSJ.
The commission is headed by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who succeeded Cardinal Bernard F. Law.
Law quit in 2002 under pressure for mishandling sex abuse cases.
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