In 2019, Pope Francis issued Vos Estis Lux Mundi on a 3 year experimental basis. This established procedures applicable to the entire church designed to combat sexual abuse and ensure that bishops are held accountable for their actions. In the United States, the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (CBAR) was created to gather and relay allegations of sexual misconduct and intentional interference in sexual abuse investigations by U.S. bishops. Effective April 30, 2023, Vos Estis Lux Mundi has been made permanent Church law and the procedures are now applicable to U.S. bishops, religious superiors and leaders of lay organizations recognized by the Holy See. The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life lists these organizations on their website at http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/ laityfamilylife/en/associazioni- e-movimenti/repertorio.html
The new law also prohibits prejudice, retaliation or discrimination of those reporting allegations (including whistleblowers), lists the rights of victims, states the accused is afforded the presumption of innocence, has the right to receive legal counsel (civil and canonical), and must be given the opportunity to defend him/herself.
To report abuse by a bishop, please first contact law enforcement officials in the area where the abuse occurred, then call CBAR at 800-276-1562 or report online at reportbishopabuse.org
If you wish to report any other kind of misconduct by a bishop or you have been abused by a priest, religious brother or sister, or other church personnel in the Diocese of Charleston, please contact law enforcement officials in the area where the abuse occurred. After completing your report to law enforcement, please contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Kristin Eyre, LISW-CP at 843-856-0748 or 800-921-8122 for access to pastoral resources, including a counseling referral when appropriate.