The Vatican Prevents US Bishops from Voting on Measures Designed to Prevent Clergy Abuse

For immediate release, November 12 2018

Today, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops met to discuss, among other things, their response to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Instead, the Vatican kicked the can down the road.

The measures that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo had put on the agenda for the American bishops to discuss and vote on were, at best, half-measures. Yet they still were steps forward and were especially symbolic in representing that the USCCB was taking seriously the issue of bishop accountability. Given the waves of recent reports of bishops hiding files, protecting serially abusive priests, and releasing incomplete lists, how could they not?

We are disappointed that the Vatican has forced the USCCB to delay their vote. We hope that this means that, at the meeting between the pope and presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, concrete steps will be taken to ensure accountability for bishops who cover-up abuse. It is clear that a real response is needed in order to prevent future abuse, deter more cover-ups, and ensure accountability for bishops who fail to protect children and vulnerable adults. Today’s action by the Vatican makes us wary that such a real response will be taken.

CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Treasurer, Local DC SNAP leader (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, (703) 801-6044),  David Lorenz, SNAP Maryland leader (David.Lorenz@verizon.net,  301-906-9161) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (925-708-6175,  melanie.sakoda@gmail.com) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2018-11-12 18:12:04 -0600
    I reside in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese (PA). I have divorced the Church over the repetitive crimes and cover-ups in this diocese. I am closely watching Bishop Mark Bartchack in this regard. I am, therefore, quite skeptical of any corrective action taken which will continue to “mask” this massive cover-up.
    Rich, MSW

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