The Tablet (newspaper for the Brooklyn diocese)
May 8, 2020
By Monsignor Steven Aguggia
The crisis of sexual abuse of minors coming to light in the past two decades has taught us many things. In so many ways, the Church has learned how to understand and deal with this horrible scourge which harms so many, both victims and the whole Church, the Body of Christ. Those who are accused of sexual abuse of minors, especially the clergy, are subject to clear and stringent norms to investigate and adjudicate their crimes. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a set of procedures that the United States Bishops established in 2002 to address the allegations of sexual abuse of minors by some clergy. The Charter was revised in 2005, 2011 and in 2018. Topics addressed in the Charter include healing from abuse and the prevention of future acts of abuse. The Dallas Charter and the accompanying Norms govern the investigation of the crimes of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons. Over time, it became clear that it was necessary to create and implement Norms to direct the investigation of allegations against Bishops, as well. The Norms, issued by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in May of 2019, are entitled Vos Estis Lux Mundi (“You are the Light of the World”).
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