After Pope Meets Victims, Vatican Considers Change

Canon law, particularly on statute of limitations, evolving with sex scandal
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 6:21 PM CDT
Mary Grant, director of SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, holds a photo of herself as a 12-year-old.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Just a day after a Washington meeting where Pope Benedict XVI talked with victims sexually abused by Catholic priests, a Vatican official said the church would consider changes to canon law dictating how the church deals with such offenses, the New York Times reports. Cardinal William Levada holds Benedict’s old post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

The cardinal suggested the laws under consideration involved statutes of limitation, as many victims “don’t feel personally able to come forward” until long after the abuse. Benedict's meeting was orchestrated by a cardinal from Boston, a city central to the Catholic abuse scandals in the US. One attendee was “ecstatic” at the chance to have a “free dialogue” with the pontiff.