Work Group 1

Group 1, Abuse Transparency

Transparency around the nature and scale of abuse in the Diocese and Spiritual Reparation for the Victims.

Notes from Dec 8 Workshop
(Hopes & Expectations)

Group 1, Abuse Transparency

Transparency around the nature and scale of abuse in the Diocese and Spiritual Reparation for the Victims.

 

  • This must involve complete disclosure of all priests who were the subject of allegations of abuse that were found credible or were the subject of settlements.
  • This may involve opening up the “secret archives” of the diocese as was done in Pennsylvania and doing it voluntarily rather than through the New York Attorney General investigation. If victims wish to remain anonymous, their names and other identifying information may be redacted.
  • Should we consider a “truth and reconciliation commission” to complete the reconciliation and healing and to restore trust and confidence?
  • How should investigations of allegations be handled and what is/should be the role of the Diocesan Review Board on sex abuse cases?
  • What are appropriate norms to put in place regarding offenses involving adults?  Doesn’t the definition of “vulnerable adult” need to be expanded?
  • Should we voluntarily adopt strict mandatory reporting for those employed by the Diocese, beyond that which is currently required by New York law?.
  • At the same time, how do we protect innocent priests?  Should there be a different process for allegations involving children and allegations involving adults?
  • How do we ensure due process for accused priests? This will require diocesan leadership that is trusted, confidence by all in the processes put in place to ferret out the truth and resistance to forces of scandal after any allegation, whether substantiated or not.  How might this be accomplished even with an immediate report to law enforcement?

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Proposed Areas of Inquiry

Transparency around the nature and scale of abuse in the Diocese and Spiritual Reparation for the Victims;

Transparency about All Diocesan Operations;

Accountability for bishops;

Lay involvement in selecting and monitoring bishops;

Greater involvement by women/laity in the Church; and

Improvements in formation of priests and priestly life

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