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Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) has spelled out detailed guidelines in line with a recommendation made by the Catholic Bishops Council of India (CBCI) that required all diocese to formulate policies for church workers involved in the care of minors and vulnerable adults. It has called for reporting all sexual offenses to law enforcement.
Axar.az reports citing Indian media.
The KCBC has promulgated firm directives for church clergy, religious orders, church employees and lay volunteers to "refrain from viewing and exhibiting any sexually explicit or morally inappropriate material in the presence of minors and vulnerable adults", reported Indian media daily Deccan Chronicle. It has defined a vulnerable adult as a person who is physical, mentally, or emotionally impaired, or is otherwise unable to function as typical adults.
People engaged in church activities are required not to indulge in or encourage sexually offensive conversations, whether humorous or otherwise, in the presence of minors and vulnerable adults. They are not to engage in actions that constitute harassment, which may include physical or mental abuse, unwelcome sexual advances, promiscuous touching, sexual comments, and jokes, soliciting sexual favors in exchange for employment, promotion or any such benefits, the new church directive for Catholics says.
Detailing the directives, KCBC ordered that no church personnel shall house minors in a church rectory or living quarters of clergy neither unless accompanied by the parent or parent-designated adult, nor should these be left alone in secluded or isolated places. Minors are not be administered physical discipline nor should their photographs be taken when they are naked or getting dressed.
KCBC guidelines stipulate that on encountering cases of sexual abuse of minors the church personnel are required to report them to the relevant civil authorities and cooperate with them in investigations.
2019.02.06 / 14:49