Children are now safer from abuse, report claims
Children in the Catholic Church are safer 10 years after the church initiated reforms in the wake of the priest abuse scandal, but there is still work to be done, according to a report delivered to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Meeting in Atlanta, the bishops heard from Al Notzon III, the chairman of the National Review Board, on the progress made 10 years after they tasked the lay group with “advising the bishops on the handling of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.”
Notzon delivered the report to the clergy leaders in a morning session. “There has been striking improvement in the Church’s response to and treatment of victims,” the report said. “Children are safer now because of the creation of safe environments and action has been taken to permanently remove offenders from ministry.”
But Notzon was quick to point out, “much work still needs to be done.”
He said the board worried about complacency with the church, “thinking that 10 years of action is enough and that programs and vigilance can be taken for granted or, worse, watered down.”
At their meeting in Dallas in 2002, the bishops implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It outlines policies and procedures for the church to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and deals with reconciliation, accountability and prevention.
Wednesday’s progress report marked a decade since the charter’s implementation.
“In the past 10 years, over 15,000 victims have come forward to tell their secret they had carried for years, and each year, more have come forward,” Notzon said. “It is impossible to know the final number of victims.”Full Story: Church report: Children safer from abuse; more work to do
Source: CNN Belief Blog