U.S. Ban on Abusive Priests Extended

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops agreed to continue their policy of permanently barring from Church work those clergy found guilty of sexual abuse.

The prelates voted today to keep for another five years the main points of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The conference adopted that policy in 2002.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who helped review the plan with the Holy See, said the penalty is necessary to restore trust in Church leadership, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, the bishops pledged “to respond to the demands of the Charter in a way that manifests our accountability to God, to God’s people and to one another.”

The bishops also stated that they “firmly uphold the dignity of every human being and renew our commitment to live and promote the chastity required of all followers of Christ and especially of deacons, priests and bishops.”