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.
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When: Saturday, January 5th, 10am – 12 noon
Tentative Topic: Prioritizing Recommendations and Developing Action Plan
When: Saturday, January 26th, 10-12noon
Tentative Topic: Finalizing Recommendations and Action Plan