Catalog of measures, code of conduct and a backdown

Catalog of measures, code of conduct and a backdown

Further consequences of the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church worldwide: While U.S. bishops draw up a catalog of measures, the Dutch youth bishop withdraws his participation in the Youth Synod.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is drawing further conclusions from the abuse scandal. This involves taking action against bishops who themselves have assaulted or covered up abuse, as the USCCB's administrative committee announced Wednesday (local time).

Lay people should bring the process forward

In particular, the scandal involving former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (88) should be comprehensively investigated, he said. He is accused of abusing minors and sexually assaulting seminarians. The reappraisal is to be promoted above all by lay people, i.e. non-clerics.

In addition, it has been decided to set up an independent office where victims of abuse can report allegations to bishops confidentially by telephone or online. From there, the accusations are to be forwarded to the competent ecclesiastical as well as civil authorities. Furthermore, the USCCB wants to ie guidelines for dealing with bishops who lose their office because of such allegations.

Code of conduct for bishops

Third, the bishops' conference announced a code of conduct for bishops on how to deal with abuse cases involving minors and adults, as well as allegations of cover-ups.

"This is a time of deep soul-searching," the statement said. Some bishops had done great harm to individuals and the whole church by abusing their authority, it said. "The bishops of the United States vow to heal and protect with all the strength God gives us," the text reads.

Following the allegations against ex-Cardinal McCarrick, an extensive report on church abuse cases in the US state of Pennsylvania had set the scandal rolling in August. Meanwhile, the attorneys general of several other states have announced investigations into dioceses.

Bishop does not attend synod because of abuse scandal

Meanwhile, Dutch youth bishop Robert Mutsaerts has withdrawn his participation in the youth synod at the Vatican. It is not "the right time" for a youth synod, it says in view of the currently rampant abuse scandals; Mutsaerts' statement was published on Wednesday on the website of the Dutch Bishops' Conference. The bishops respected his decision, it was said.

In addition, the Bishops' Conference emphasizes the importance of concrete measures for a safe church for children and young people. She sees the upcoming synod as an "opportunity" to discuss this ie with bishops from different countries. Mutsaerts (60), who is auxiliary bishop in the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch, will now be replaced by auxiliary bishop in Roermond Everardus Johannes De Jong (60).

Currently, another abuse scandal is rocking the Catholic Church in the U.S. Conservative U.S. bishops had also called for the youth synod at the Vatican (3. until 28. October) to be canceled.

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Christina Cherry
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