‘Shredded’ Credibility

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ point man on sexual abuse said the hierarchy’s credibility on fixing the problem is “shredded” and that the situation is comparable to the Reformation, when “the episcopacy, the regular clergy, even the papacy were discredited.” On Aug. 13 Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Ill., spoke at the National Safe Environment and Victim Assistance Coordinators Leadership Conference in Omaha, Neb. He told attendees that he had assumed that consistently implementing the bishops’ policies on child protection, “coupled with some decent publicity, would turn public opinion around” but added, “I now know this was an illusion.” Conlon said U.S. bishops still needed to clarify emerging questions about how to deal with issues like child pornography and “boundary violations,” but he said bishops “are gravely weakened and in need of assistance” in developing policies and changing public perceptions. Conlon said, “Our credibility on the subject of child abuse is shredded, [but] you may have a better chance. People—in the church, outside the church and hanging on the edge—need to know that real progress is being made.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017

America asked readers through our email newsletter and social media platforms what they do for their loved ones who have died. Seventy-eight percent of readers described how they memorialize loved ones with photos and other objects.

Our readersNovember 17, 2017