The Danish ethics Ethics council Council is charged with investigating cases of sexual abuse, leading a fact that has led Bishop Czeslaw Kozon to claim that he therefore has no obligation to report any such cases to police.
In recent weeks, a number of cardinals and bishops across Europe have been forced into apologising for the failure to act upon information pertaining to sexual abuse. However, the Danish Catholic Kozon argued that his church has no responsibility to neither -either investigate past abuse cases nor -or advise police of any new cases.
Bishop Czeslaw Kozon is Denmark’s highest ranking Catholic official. He made the claims in a written response to the media, which was reported published in the The Copenhagen Post. In his statement he argued that legal advisors had informed him that he was not obligated to notify authorities of any instances of sexual abuse. He did, however, reason that a specialist ethics committee comprising of a social worker, a lawyer and a priest were in charge of handling such circumstances.
“Therefore my conduct in those kinds of cases would be dependent on what the ethical committee recommends. Before you’re presented with that kind of case, it’s impossible to say how you’d react and what measures must be taken,” said Kozon.
Kozon’s statement has been denounced by theological and legal experts, who argue that the Catholic Church is legally responsible for identifying and preventing any instances of sexual abuse.
“If the Catholic Church does nothing, the cases will take on a snowball effect, getting bigger and bigger and destroying the Church’s backing and trustworthiness in Denmark,” said Peter Lodberg, an associate professor of theology with Aarhus University.