Work Group 3

Group 3,  Accountability for Bishops

  • The 2002 Dallas Charter and Norms detail how the church should deal with misbehavior by priests but say nothing about how a Bishop who is complicit in the problem of sexual abuse can be held accountable.
  • Canon law also provides no explicit mechanism for dealing with bishops who cover up abuse.  There is no principled reason why the Church’s leaders should not be held responsible for serious misconduct or incompetence.
  • A new system under which members of the hierarchy are actually held accountable for the cover up of the sexual abuse of thousands of children, is essential to restore laity’s trust.
  • Current church policy calls for the dismissal from the clerical state for even a single act of sexual abuse by a priest.  Should there be a similar canonical penalty to deal with the serious abuses by Bishops and actually imposed in appropriate cases?
  • Even without extraordinary papal intervention, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) could adopt a policy statement urging brother Bishops to resign voluntarily if they have improperly protected abusive priests.


We continue to invite lay people, religious women and clergy of the Diocese to receive updates on our work by joining our mailing list.

Please feel free to contact us with your questions or comments via email or use our contact form. 

Please use this form to:

  • Indicate interest in participating in this initiative (even if you have not attended previous events)
  • Indicate specific specific areas of inquiry you are interested in
  • Submit questions or comments
  • Join our mailing list

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

When: Saturday, January 5th, 10am – 12 noon
Where:  TBD
Tentative Topic: Prioritizing Recommendations and Developing Action Plan

When: Saturday, January 26th, 10-12noon
Where:  TBD
Tentative Topic: Finalizing Recommendations and Action Plan

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