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U.S. Catholic Bishops Announce Plan to Address Sexual Abuse

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After multiple reports of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have been released in recent months, U.S. Catholic bishops announced their own plans to address the issue. Image via Pixabay.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced on Wednesday it is taking proactive steps to curb sexual abuse perpetrated by priests.

Sex abuse scandals rocked the Catholic Church in recent months after reports detailing decades of abuse and coverups were released in Germany, the U.S., Netherlands and Chile. Pope Francis is reportedly considering dramatic measures to address the crisis, but the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference announced their own initiatives to address sexual abuse within the Church.

The conference of bishops agreed that they can no longer fold their arms and watch top leaders of the clergy fail in their responsibilities and bring disrepute to the Church. The bishops began the process of amends by apologizing profusely for the errors of the clergy and owned up to the church leadership’s failures to act responsibly.

They resolved that abusive and negligent bishops will now be fully accountable for their deeds, and may even face prosecution from civil authorities.

Catholic Church Acknowledges Abuse, Charts New Path Forward

The administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed that the actions or inactions of many bishops “have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole.” They condemned the sexual abuse perpetrated by bishops and every clergy member who failed to deal with abusive priests and instead transferred them to other parishes where they continued to harm.

The U.S. Catholic bishops made their announcement after meeting with Pope Francis in Rome just a week ago. The President of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, said the meeting with the pope was lengthy and stimulating to the issues at hand.

The initiatives announced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops do not need the approval of the pope. On Wednesday, they announced the new initiatives:

  • A third-party reporting system will be established to aid the discreet reporting of abusive bishops and priests, while accused clergymen will be handed over to civil authorities and appropriate church authorities for investigations.
  • A committee within the conference of bishops will develop proposals for policies “addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests.
  • A code of conduct will be developed to address sexual abuse, sexual harassment or misconduct with an adult.
  • An agreement was made to support a full law enforcement investigation into Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sex abuses.

“This is only a beginning. Consultation with a broad range of concerned parents, experts, and other laity along with clergy and religious will yield additional, specific measures to be taken to repair the scandal and restore justice,” the bishops said in their statement.

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19 Comments

  1. Betty Major September 21, 2018

    About time, how many more children will be abused before we wake up and protect them

    Reply
  2. Jeanne Perry September 21, 2018

    No one will believe them ,too late !!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Sherry Duchaine September 22, 2018

    “taking proactive steps to curb sexual abuse perpetrated by priests”
    #1 “Curbing” is NOT Good enough. #2 None within organized religion should be making any plans except to pack their bags and register as sexual predators and sexual predator protectors. Per God’s doctrines, forgiveness should only be reserved for the repentant. Organized religion has proven itself non-repentant since it’s beginnings. Thou shalt NOT make a mockery out of Forgiveness any longer.

    Reply
  4. Matthew Obenhaus September 26, 2018

    Here is an idea, lock up all priests and burn the churches down.

    Reply
  5. Phyllis Aldrich September 26, 2018

    First baby step?

    Reply
  6. Rafal Warnajtys September 26, 2018

    Not only in catholic this happens

    Reply
  7. Betty Major September 26, 2018

    Took too long

    Reply
  8. Eva Aguilar September 26, 2018

    About time

    Reply
  9. Rachel Puccio September 26, 2018

    Stop discussing and do something about it

    Reply
  10. Bryon Boswell September 26, 2018

    Public punishments not behind closed doors.
    All priest who are found guilty should not be supported by parishioners.

    Reply
  11. Charles Freedom September 26, 2018

    Investigate and Arrest his ass.

    Reply
  12. Marilyn Jackson September 26, 2018

    Married priests, and women priests, like the Episcopal church.

    Reply
  13. Ann Corson September 26, 2018

    About time.

    Reply
  14. Michael Moore September 26, 2018

    Guess it’s about time. Maybe some substance a little teeth to it or just talk an more cover up.

    Reply
  15. Larry L. Cunningham September 26, 2018

    About time!

    Reply
  16. David Young September 26, 2018

    HOW MANY OF THEM ARE CULPABLE??

    Reply
  17. Carreen Randy Guglielmino September 26, 2018

    About time!

    Reply
  18. Shayna Alterman September 26, 2018

    Another plan?

    Reply
  19. Jeanne Perry October 26, 2018

    Too little too late,heard it all before ??????

    Reply

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