SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Catholic Dioceses in several New England states are launching an independent system to report abuse by bishops. 

The announcement was made Wednesday morning and includes dioceses in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, as well as in Massachusetts.

The move comes after Pope Francis made a decree that indentified measures to respond to abuse claims.  That decree includes, in part, that all dioceses - by May, 31 2020 - have a publicly-available system for reporting clergy sexual abuse and any cover-up.

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said in a statement:

“I am grateful to Cardinal O’Malley for his leadership in implementing this important facet of Vos Estis Lux Mundi here in the Boston Province. This is an important step in assuring accountability for bishops in continuing to be vigilant in our church for the safe environment of all our members, particularly our most vulnerable."

In addition to Rozanski and the Springfield diocese, the six other dioceses to sign-on to the system are:

  • Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Seán O'Malley
  • Diocese of Worcester and Bishop Robert McManus
  • Diocese of Fall River and Bishop Edgar da Cuhna
  • Diocese of Manchester, NH and Bishop Peter Libasci
  • Diocese of Burlington, VT and Bishop Christopher Coyne
  • Diocese of Portland, ME and Bishop Robert Deeley

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