Catholic church still breaking its own laws, 16 years after priest abuse scandal exposed
By Cindy Woodall
Attempts to solve many problems found in the Catholic church today can be traced back to a meeting among U.S. bishops in June 2002.
It was five months after the Boston Globe had exposed widespread child sexual abuse by priests and a pattern of cover-ups by the church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gathered in Dallas to vote on a new set of policies.
Those policies gave bishops the power to ban from ministry any priest who abused a child. They also made it a requirement for bishops to report all allegations of sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement and check the backgrounds of all staff in contact with kids.
Additionally, the priests removed from ministry would not be allowed to celebrate Mass publicly, wear clerical uniforms or be known as a priest.
Gone were the confidentiality agreements that had silenced victims and protected abusers.
And bishops voted to practice transparency and openness with the public and news media.
Sixteen years later, the Catholic church is breaking its own rul...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.