Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New bishops' policy is backwards

New bishops' policy is backwards

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

The policy is backwards. It largely implies that clergy sex crimes and cover ups are past tense. They are not. Any bishop's first job must be to stop and prevent current and future child sex crimes.

This is a substantially weaker version of the very weak and only sporadically enforced US bishops' policy. It essentially keeps all of the power and discretion with the same bishops and church structure that has, for decades, ignored and concealed and enabled the horrific assaults on thousands of kids, and still does. There's no pledge of openness or any guarantees that predators will be exposed or suspended from ministry. It's window dressing, nothing more.

Under 'publicity,' there's not even a mention of transparency. The policy calls on church officials to warn one another when transferring a predator but not the public or the parishioners.

Again, the crux of the crisis is that bishops can and do ignore church guidelines essentially because they can do so with no fear of discipline or penalty. That's what enables clergy sex crimes and cover ups. That isn't changing with this new policy.

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