U.S. Bishops Back 2nd Review of Reforms

DENVER, Colorado, JUNE 16, 2004 (Zenit.org).- U.S. bishops overwhelmingly voted to stage a second annual analysis of how dioceses are responding to reforms adopted in the wake of the clergy sexual-abuse scandal.

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The bishops’ conference, meeting near Denver, approved an on-site audit of all dioceses that would form the basis for the second annual report on the implementation of the “Charter for Child and Youth Protection.” The charter requires that the Office of Child and Youth Protection does such an annual report.

Bishops meeting behind closed doors in Colorado voted 207-14 for the audit, which is to be completed by Dec. 31. There was one abstention.

The bishops also discussed whether, in future years, the national audit process should be replaced by a process conducted on a regional basis, utilizing the 14 regions into which the episcopal conference divides the dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches) of the United States.

Anne Burke, interim chair of the National Review Board, said the panel “is pleased with the decision to move forward with the audits and to begin further research into the causes and context of these crimes.”

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