When it comes to the abuse of children by members of the clergy, using secrecy to hide problems rather than protect victims “must go out the window,” said Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland. “Let’s put secrecy aside,” Archbishop Martin told journalists on Feb. 23. “Secrecy has been one of the root causes of the problems that we are in today. And therefore, we need to be cautious.”
Secrecy and, more specifically, the imposition of “pontifical secrecy” in cases of clerical sex abuse were raised several times during the Vatican’s on Feb. 21-24 summit on child protection and the clerical abuse crisis.
The pontifical secret ensures cases are dealt with in strict confidentiality. Vatican experts have said it was designed to protect the dignity of everyone involved, including the victim, the accused, their families and their communities.