The U.S. Bishops' Lessons from the Abuse Crisis

Just posted to our site, along with the May 10 issue, is this essay from Bishop Blase Cupich, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Child and Youth Protection: "Twelve Things the Bishops Have Learned From the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis."

A few highlights:

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8. Bishops need to be mutually accountable in their efforts to protect children and must be willing to participate in transparent, independent audits to demonstrate they are keeping the promises we made. What happens in one place happens to us all.

9. Bishops need to resist the defensiveness that institutions often fall back on in crisis moments. Resorting to a conspiratorial interpretation of attacks and adopting a “circle the wagons” approach only prolongs a problem and does nothing to settle it or heal the victims.

10. Self deception is an inherent part of the illness abusers suffer and includes the inclination to diminish the gravity of their behavior and its effects on the individuals abused and on the church at large. Many even manage to convince themselves that they genuinely cared for the children whom they harmed. This makes it almost impossible for them to come to grips with the evil they perpetrated. Claims often made by perpetrators in the past that they were contrite and would stop abusing are never again going to be taken at face value.

Read the full Web-only article here.

Tim Reidy

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Jim McCrea
7 years 11 months ago
Bp Cupich:  you don't need to tell us layfolk #8.  Tell your brother Bishop "Fabulous Fabian" Bruskewitz.
7 years 11 months ago
Bishop Cupich has the points down. BUT
David Spotanski, Chancellor to Bishop Gregory who at that time was USCCB head, outlines the same points but with more passion .and HE DID THIS IN 2-22- 2002. It's the implementation that is still limping along.. no new bishop papers are needed. Read Spotanski's memo and see what he was up against. Read about Law a year before he would resign. It's been 8 years and the bishops are still blaming the media and the roaring 60s.
How come a layman/parent had it right before the 375 bishops.?????????? This memo has just been published.
http://www.stlbeacon.org/spotanskiletter.pdf
7 years 11 months ago
No where do I hear a call to holiness; and yet, as a young priest in Italy so ably stated on his blog: " The answer to reform in the Church in every age is personal holiness ". I am contiunually amazed that this topic is absent from discussion about "the sexual abuse crisis" in the Church...
Barbara DeLorenzi
7 years 11 months ago
Facing up to one's sin and the consequences of it, lack of defensiveness, profound humility, protection of the innocent, if necessary to the detriment of one's public image ... sounds like holiness to me. The greatest saints would have fit that description.
Jeff Bagnell
7 years 11 months ago
 Maria, "holiness" and things like the sacraments are passe now.  We like committees and letters and sociological analysis now.
7 years 11 months ago
Jeff-How sadly right you are. If one points to the Eucharist or reparation as real action to heal the wounds, one is treated as somehow disturbed...So, I just keep begging the good Lord for Mercy...I offer up tedium, exhaustion, humiliations and and the countless frustrations anyone encounters on any given day in reparation...
Jeff Bagnell
7 years 11 months ago
Group think has weakened the Church in America.  I never was a fan of national conferences of bishops (nor was Ratzinger) and all we get is more paper, all the time.  But it is nice to see adoration making a comeback.
7 years 11 months ago
Indeed it is nice, Jeff...

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