Backlash to US Bishops’ Plans to Address Sex Abuse Scandal

News: US News
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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 20, 2018   

Recent statement on new policies does little to alleviate public's outrage

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - People are still upset as the U.S. bishops announce new plans for addressing clerical sex abuse.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced on Wednesday that the Administrative Committee had begun four new initiatives in response to the sex abuse scandal.

The committee established a confidential, third-party reporting system for victims and witnesses of sexual behavior and abuse by bishops. It also "instructed the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance to develop proposals for policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests."

Furthermore, they began developing a code of conduct for bishops "regarding the sexual abuse of a minor; sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with an adult; or negligence in the exercise of his office related to such cases."

Lastly, the Administrative Committee expressed its support for an investigation into disgraced ex-Cdl. Theodore McCarrick. The committee argued, "Such an investigation should rely upon lay experts in relevant fields, such as law enforcement and social services."


After listing the measures, the USCCB statement went on to say: 

This is only a beginning. Consultation with a broad range of concerned parents, experts, and other laity along with clergy and religious will yield additional, specific measures to be taken to repair the scandal and restore justice. We humbly welcome and are grateful for the assistance of the whole people of God in holding us accountable.

When the USCCB's Facebook page shared the statement, there was abundant backlash in the comments section. Some commenters said things like: "They still don't get it" or "Fail."

One Facebook user commented, "Same old same old. We need a huge shake-up and accountability."

Some people mocked the idea of developing of a new "code of conduct" for the U.S. bishops. For instance, one comment stated, "Code of conduct is your piety and vow of celibacy. You are called to be chaste just like the rest of us."

A similar claim read, "We are only now going to develop a code of conduct for bishops? How stupid. They have God's code of conduct to guide them."

"There are no monuments built to commemorate committees," one comment said. This is a paraphrase of a quote by Roger Stone, "Nobody ever built a statue to a committee."

"There must be absolute transparency for any restoration of trust," argued one commenter. "The laity will no longer accept violations of priestly ministry and allow them to be swept under the rug."

The laity will no longer accept violations of priestly ministry and allow them to be swept under the rug.

One commenter proposed, "Bring back the charter members of the National Review Board."

This is in reference to the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, the independent lay board established in 2002 by the USCCB to investigate cases where priests were accused of sexual abuse.

In August, Church Militant had an exclusive interview with psychologist Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the original members of the National Review Board.

McHugh told Church Militant about the nature of the priest sex abuse crisis: "This is obviously homosexual predation on Catholic youth."

Another original member of the National Review Board was Anne M. Burke, currently a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court. Burke recently appeared on EWTN's The World Over to share her thoughts on how the U.S. bishops should respond to the current sex abuse scandal.

 

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