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Vos Estis Online Conference
March 17, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
St Mary’s Seminary and the Archdiocese of Baltimore have collaborated in presenting an online conference on the details of Vos estis.
In May, 2019 Pope Francis published a decree titled Vos estis lux mundi—“You are the light of the world.” This Apostolic Letter enlarges the scope of criminal sexual abuse and requires responsible investigations of accusations of abuse: (a) it reaches beyond clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) to include members of religious communities who are not clergy; (b) it extends criminal behavior beyond unwanted touch and includes the production of or possession of child pornography; (c) it goes beyond considering only the abuse of minors and includes the abuse of “vulnerable adults”; (d) it makes it clear that bishops and religious superiors who are accused of sexual crimes are bound to the same legal liability as are priests and deacons; (e) it demands transparency by bishops and religious superiors in handling accusations of sexual abuse; and (f) it stipulates a process to investigate accusations that bishops have been engaged in covering up sexual misconduct.
The centerpiece-presenter at the conference is Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who has become the papal point-man in investigating accusations against bishops and even founders of religious communities, and who is a key member of the Holy See’s task force on sexual abuse. In addition to Archbishop Scicluna, presenters include Archbishop Lori, Bishop Mark Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown, Sister Sharon Euart, executive director of the Resource Center for Religious Institutes, and Siobhan Verbeek, director of canonical services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.