Catholic leaders in Savannah to discuss priest sex abuse scandals

Savannah Morning News

Posted February 25, 2017
By Jan Skutch

A three-day conference of Catholic church leaders will convene in Savannah beginning Sunday to discuss the church’s ongoing response to protecting children and youth in the wake of priest sex abuse scandals.

The 2017 Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference will feature a number of speakers, including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta who is co-hosting the event with Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Savannah.

Gregory, then bishop in Belleville, Ill., was head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” was adopted in Dallas in 2002.

The charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. It also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.

In comments in a letter prepared for the conference, Hartmayer said the theme for this year’s conference is “hospitality.”

“This year will be the 12th convocation since the passage (of the charter) in 2002,” he said. “Over the years we have worked hard to protect our most vulnerable, but the job is never complete.

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