French catholic priests will soon be decked out with a QR Code. This is the solution envisaged by the Conference of Bishops of France to better identify priests and also to “make the Church safe” in terms of prevention against sexual violence.
The aim of the identification card for priests is to better follow them when they celebrate outside their diocese, in a sanctuary or during events and to ensure that those who present themselves are indeed true priests.
The system presented on Wednesday must be put in place by the end of the year and should concern the 13,000 priests and 3,000 deacons in France, and replace the “celebret”, the current identity card for priests.
Matthieu Rougé, the bishop of Nanterre, explained: “The QR code will allow those responsible for a place, a sanctuary, parish, monastery, to verify that it is indeed a real priest, because there are false priests who abuse, and verify that it is a priest who is not prevented.”
The device, which has already equipped the 120 bishops of the country since March, comes in the form of a plastic card, like a business card, with a printed QR code to be scanned to access a colour code: green if the priest can celebrate or confess without restrictions, orange if there are restrictions and red if the priest cannot celebrate or confess.
Rougé added: “It is first of all a general database of non-delinquent priests. There will be a green light if everything is ok with the priest.
“This is part of a much broader logic for several years to go beyond the fight against abuse, with clarity and benevolence and this logic will continue.”
READ MORE: Zelensky breaks silence after explosive plan to ‘strike Russia’ leaked
Each diocese will have to update the data of its priests once a year. But only the rector of a sanctuary, for example, can ask to see this card.
The faithfuls on the other hand will not have access to it.
If lost, the card will be immediately deactivated from the database.
Ambroise Laurent, deputy secretary general of the Conference of Bishops of France, told RTL: “In crematoriums, often, we have people who present themselves as priests and who abuse the credulity of people who come there for a funeral celebration.”
Source: Read Full Article