STA, 26 January 2022 - Maksimilijan Matjaž, the Bishop of Celje, has founded an office to admit complaints by and monitor the victims of sexual abuse committed by the clergy and other members of religious life in a bid to help the victims and prevent repeat of this type of crime.
A post on the website of the Celje Diocese announcing the formation of the new office refers to an apostolic letter by Pope Francis of May 2019 instructing dioceses to form one or more permanent systems easily accessible to the public to report sexual abuse committed by the clergy or members of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life.
The Celje Diocese office will be headquartered at the Laško address of lawyer Pavel Teršek. It will operate based on the attached statute, in accordance with the mentioned apostolic letter, guidelines for the protection of children, minors and vulnerable adults in the Slovenian Catholic Church, and other binding documents of the Church issued or to be issued by the Holy See and the Slovenian Bishops' Conference concerning sexual abuse committed by clerics or members of the institutions of consecrated life or of the societies of apostolic life, reads the release.
Just yesterday a Catholic advocacy for victims of sexual abuse in the Church that is led by a priest who was victim of abuse himself called for appointing an independent commission comprising individuals of high moral integrity to investigate and crack down on the abuse as soon as possible.