October 1, 2020
By David Crary
Child-protection policies adopted by Roman Catholic leaders to curb clergy sex abuse in the United States are inconsistent and often worryingly incomplete, according to a think tank’s two-year investigation encompassing all 32 of the country’s archdioceses.
The analysis by Philadelphia-based CHILD USA said the inconsistencies and gaps suggest a need for more detailed mandatory standards for addressing sexual abuse of children by priests and other church personnel, a problem that has beset the church for decades and resulted in many criminal investigations, thousands of lawsuits and bankruptcy filings by numerous dioceses.
After a big wave of clergy abuse was reported in the early 2000s, U.S. bishops in 2002 created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, more commonly known as the Dallas Charter, a baseline for reporting, training and prevention policies on sexual abuse.
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