The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting in Atlanta, and have heard tough words about their record on priestly abuse.
The board's report mentioned the Dallas Charter's "zero tolerance policy," which requires the permanent suspension of a priest who is found to have abused a minor, saying some feel it is "too harsh if, for example, behavior occurred many decades ago." But the board continued to back the policy. "Convicted sex offenders cannot be police officers, Boy Scout leaders, or teachers," Notzon said. "They cannot be allowed to remain members of the Catholic clergy functioning in public ministry either."Now you might be encouraged by this statement:
"Our response will require all the energies the Catholic community can muster," [Baltimore Archbishop William Lori] said....except whoooops! He wasn't talking about dealing with predator priests. No, "all the energies the Catholic community can muster" will be turned towards making sure women don't have access to birth control if they work for Catholic-affiliated institutions. Here's the actual quoted response to the board's concerns about clerical rapists:
Oakland (Calif.) Bishop Salvatore Cordileone told the bishops that removing a priest from ministry is not the same as "removing a police officer or a teacher, but more like removing the head of a family from a home," Cordileone said. "We have to be very careful about how we go about this so as not to compromise the identity of a priest."Yes, definitely, compromising the identity of the priest should be your top concern when children are being raped and abused!
Your Excellencies: Your priorities are poisonous garbage. But carry on telling us all about birth control! The world should take take your moral authority very seriously, obviously.
[Commenting note: Please take care to distinguish in comments between "Catholics" and church leadership, as many Catholics are not in agreement with the words and actions of their leaders.]