Here’s how the Catholic Church is trying to reform after years of clergy abuse scandals

Bergen Record via

November 16, 2020

By Deena Yellin

The Catholic Church is still reckoning with the legacy of alleged abusers like Theodore McCarrick and the culture of silence that let the former cardinal rise to prominence.

But that culture has also been transformed after years of painful revelations.

The church still faces hundreds of lawsuits and an incalculable loss of trust. But it’s also made progress through reforms adopted by Pope Francis and his predecessors, experts said last week after the Vatican released a 449-page report that documented decades of indifference to McCarrick’s misdeeds.

Local churches now require background checks and training for priests, volunteers and other staff who work with children. Dioceses have been ordered to quickly report allegations to local authorities, a sea change from the days when McCarrick ascended through the Catholic hierarchy in New York and New Jersey despite the accusations against him.

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