USCCB abuse audit warns of complacency, cites 'room for improvement'

By Catholic News Service
Sunday, May 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The annual report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” warns against complacency in dioceses, and the firm contracted to conduct audits of dioceses and parishes said there was “plenty of room for improvement” in implementing two of the charter’s articles.

In remarks prefacing the report, Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, the all-lay group that tracks for the bishops how dioceses address clergy sexual abuse, said this year’s audit results “continue to demonstrate the progress that has been made in ensuring safe environments for children in the church. The bishops need to be acknowledged for keeping the protection of children and young people in the forefront of their leadership by continually enhancing their efforts to comply with the charter,” Cesareo said.

However, he also warned that the U.S. church’s progress can “foster a false sense of security” that can “lead to complacency. Such complacency can lead to a minimalist approach to the charter, which can be seen simply as a series of requirements that need to be checked off, as opposed to an implementation that renders the charter fully operative,” he said.

One example Cesareo gave was that “while every diocese has a diocesan review board, thereby complying with the charter’s requirement, in some cases the diocesan review board rarely meets or had not met in several years.”


  • usccb
  • clerical abuse

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