At the most recent United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Review Board stated that it was crucial for Bishops to be more strict in following their own policies against sexual abuse. The National Review Board, which was created in 2002 to work with Bishops to protect young people from sexual assault, stressed that disclosing illegal actions by priests was necessary in order to restore credibility to the Catholic Church. Religion News Service’s David Gibson explains:
In his review of the church’s track record over the past decade, Notzon did not mention the Philadelphia or Missouri cases by name, nor any of the other periodic lapses by bishops over the 10 years since the USCCB passed the so-called Dallas Charter.
While the charter called for punishing priests with a one-strike policy and instituted programs to safeguard children in Catholic parishes and schools, it did not provide any mechanism for disciplining bishops who flout the charter’s provisions.
Because only the pope himself has the power to discipline a bishop, Notzon was left with the only tool he has available: moral suasion and public pressure.
“Now is not the time to drift away from the moral requirements of the Charter and the legal requirements of reporting,” said Notzon, former head of a Texas association of local governments. He was speaking on behalf of the entire 16-member board of law enforcement officials, academics, psychologists and others with experience in institutional management.
“Children must be protected,” he said. “Bishops must continue to work toward restoring the trust of the faithful. Only when bishops are seen as following through on their promise to protect and pledge to heal will the faithful begin to trust them to take care of their most precious gift – their children.”
Read the full article here.