The scannable ID cards will help to identify blacklisted priests
The French Catholic Church will have all of its bishops, priests, and deacons carry ID cards with QR codes in order to shield worshippers from sexual abuse at the hands of clergymen.
The new system designed to supplement paper documents was unveiled by the Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF) on Wednesday.
After scanning a QR code, a person will see color-coded information about the clergyman. Green will mean that the cleric can lead a mass, hear a confession, and perform other sacraments without restrictions. Orange will indicate that the priest’s powers are limited due to sanctions or a lack of proper experience.
People stripped of their clerical status for whatever reason will be listed in the database under red. The database will be updated once a year, or in cases of serious misconduct, immediately.
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“It seemed essential to see what we could change… to make the Church safer,” CEF spokesman Alexandre Joly said.
CEF Deputy General Secretary Ambroise Laurent explained that the ID cards will also help keep track of the priests’ activities when they perform services outside of their dioceses, accompany worshippers on pilgrimages, and act as counselors for groups of young people.
The Catholic Church in France and other countries has been rocked by cases of sexual abuse of minors in recent decades. In 2021, the CEF-appointed independent inquiry commission estimated that there were between 2,900 and 3,200 offenders in the church’s ranks in France since 1950.
May 14, 2023 at 11:21AM