Proposals on Sex-Abuse Norms Due in November

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2002 ( The mixed commission reviewing U.S. bishops’ norms on clerical sex-abuse allegations will present its proposals at the prelates’ meeting in November.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said in a statement today that the mixed commission of U.S. episcopal officials and Vatican representatives held a work meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

“The suggestions elaborated by the mixed commission will be presented during the general meeting” of the U.S. bishops’ conference Nov. 11-14, Navarro-Valls reported.

The document eventually approved by the conference will “then be sent to the Holy See for further ‘recognitio,’ or recognition, he said.

In a letter dated Oct. 14 to Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. episcopal conference, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, acknowledged the prelates’ effort to respond to the accusations against priests, but said that the current norms “can be the source of confusion and ambiguity.”

For this reason, it was decided to create a review commission made up of four U.S. bishops and four Vatican representatives.

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