Franciscans to Set Up Common Norms Against Sex Abuse

ROME, AUG. 21, 2002 ( The ministers general of the Franciscan family, including the Third Order Regular, have decided to set out a common set of norms for dealing with sex-abuse cases that might involve friars.

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The task of drawing up a preliminary draft has been entrusted to Father Joachim Giermek, minister general of the Friars Minor Conventual, the Vidimus Dominum agency reported.

“Already before the current scandal” erupted in the United States, he said in a letter to his congregation, “it was thought useful to have a series of directives from the Franciscan Order to deal with improper behavior in the area of sexuality in general, and the issue of sexual abuses in particular.”

Father Giermek said that a set of norms which regulate the entire Franciscan Family “should necessarily be generic and adapted to the local situations.”

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