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DENVER - Now that the dust has settled on the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore - which was keenly anticipated in the run-up, and which turned out to be massively anti-climactic in the aftermath - it’s time to take preliminary stock of where things stand in the bishops’ efforts to respond to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.
The agenda for the meeting was waylaid late afternoon on Sunday, when a letter reached Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the USCCB, from Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, telling the bishops to delay votes on matters related to the abuse crisis until Feb. 21-24, when Pope Francis has summoned presidents of all the bishops’ conferences around the world for a summit on child protection.
Bishops - Votes - Abuse - Proposals - Centerpiece
Some bishops floated taking non-binding votes on the abuse proposals, the centerpiece of which was the creation of an independent commission to investigate bishops accused of violating anti-abuse standards, and a new code of conduct for the bishops themselves. In the end, no such non-binding votes were taken.
While much remains uncertain about what happened and where things go from here, here’s what we do know with reasonable certainty.
Problems - Canon - Law - Body - Law
First, there were apparently serious problems under canon law, the body of law for the Catholic Church, with several aspects of the proposed measures. Critics worried that the proposed commission for instance, would cede a dubious amount of authority to its six lay and three clergy members, giving them a sort of joint power of supervision with the pope. Others were concerned that the commission, which was to be set up as a separate 501(c)3 non-profit corporation funded by dioceses directly rather than the conference, would be essentially unaccountable.
Still other bishops felt the proposed code of conduct risked being overly generic, leaving it unclear precisely...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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