French Catholic Priests Now Required To Wear Scannable QR Codes

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French Catholic priests are now subject to a strict new measure that requires them to wear scannable QR codes in order to signal whether they have been accused of sex crimes.

This mandate, imposed by the Bishops’ Conference of France, is being heralded as an effort on behalf of the Church to be more “transparent” with its members.

Under this system, people can scan wallet-size cards with their smartphones and receive one of three color codes signifying the minister’s “status.”

Red indicates that a priest has lost his position potentially due to accusations or convictions of child sex abuse, though no additional information regarding the sanction is given.

Green signifies that he is in good standing while orange denotes that he is currently not yet able to lead Mass. The same applies for bishops and deacons as well, making it clear that all clergymen will be held accountable under this new measure.

Many see this move by French church officials as an important step forward in combating sexual misconduct within religious communities and would serve as an example for other countries around the world looking to create similar protocols.

Others ask the logical question, “Why in God’s name are they still priests if they are convicted sex offenders?”

Church officials say it also sends a strong message that those who violate their positions of power will be held responsible for their actions and will face swift consequences if found guilty. However, if the consequences are this lax, many doubt it is anything more than a way to cover the church from liability.

Others argue it paints too broad a brush over innocent priests who have done nothing wrong.

The NY Post Reported:

The Catholic Church hailed the program as an efficient way to bust imposter priests and “intensify the fight against sexual violence in the Church,” though it came under fire from some sex abuse victims.

“If we have to scan the QR codes of clergy members to reassure Catholics, it means the Church has hit a new low. It’s nothing more than a publicity stunt, and it shows the extent to which trust has been broken between the faithful and their hierarchy,” François Devaux, a former president of the church abuse survivors group La Parole Libérée (the Freed Word), told the outlet.

“It’s quite an exceptional measure which, in my opinion, is one of the Catholic Church’s top three most stupid ideas.”

Christine Pedotti, who runs the French Christian weekly magazine Témoignage Chrétien (Christian Testimony), called it “a small tool that, when compared to the scale of the problem, just isn’t enough.”

The tech-centric changes come after a bombshell 2021 report revealed that an estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church over the past 70 years.

Details of the program, such as where the priest must wear or display the QR code and the date by which they must comply, were not immediately clear.

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