The U.S. Catholic bishops will meet in Seattle June 15-17 to consider revising their policy on clergy sex abuse: the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, passed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002, as the scandal had broken wide open nationally.
Although the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s report last month controversially concluded that the American scandal was some kind of 1960s-1970s aberration — blame free love and Woodstock, if you will — I can’t imagine the bishops will be able to ignore the recent headlines out of Philadelphia and Kansas City, in addition to all the victims still coming forward to report older cases. The Vatican has also issued new guidelines for bishops conferences internationally, as the scandal has spread through Europe and other parts of the world:
- Ireland’s Catholics, Hard Hit By Abuse Crisis, Await Vatican Action (USA Today’s Faith & Reason blog)
- Belgian Abuse Victims to File Suit Against Vatican (Reuters)
- Asian Bishops Say Abuse ‘Isn’t Just a Problem of the West’ (Religion News Service)
Incidentally, I’m a little bitter that major religion news is happening in Seattle while I’ll be on vacation. Oh well. I guess we’ll always have Anthony Weiner’s Weinergate (unveiled due to his crotch-shot Tweet to a college student here), the It Gets Better project (launched by Seattle-based columnist Dan Savage) and Everyone Draw Muhammad Day.