David Gibson—U.S. Bishops Still Stonewall on Sex Abuse Ten years after the ‘Dallas charter’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Who will guard the guardians? Ten years after the Catholic hierarchy of the United States gathered in Dallas and adopted unprecedented policies to address the scourge of child sexual abuse by clergy, the question of accountability at the top remains unanswered....

The best answer the bishops had...in Dallas was a behind-the-scenes "fraternal correction" policy, by which a bishop would quietly pass along any concerns about another bishop to that bishop. Church tradition was invoked to preclude any external oversight by laypeople or other prelates. As always, each bishop would answer only to the pope, who alone had the authority to remove the head of a diocese.

Now, as the bishops gather next week in Atlanta for their annual spring meeting, they will hear an update on the Dallas charter but are unlikely to address this enormous loophole—despite events that make it all the more urgent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:00 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/43305/



1. QohelethDC wrote:

An exapnded version of this article appears in the National Catholic Reporter.

Both versions were heartbreakiing to read. We’ve seen from the battle over the HHS mandate how vigorous the bishops can be when engaged, but the issue of abuse doesn’t seem to have stirred the same fire in them.

June 8, 3:19 pm | [comment link]
2. Ad Orientem wrote:

The problem was never really the handful of priests who couldn’t keep their cassocks buttoned. It was the bishops who enabled and protected them.

June 8, 4:27 pm | [comment link]


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