Catholic Bishops Gathered in Atlanta Hear 10-Year Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse

By Tim Townsend
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 13, 2012

U.S. Catholic bishops gather in Atlanta Wednesday morning, June 13, 2012

ATLANTA - U.S. Catholic bishops meeting here for their spring meeting heard this morning from a lay group advising them on the handling of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that rocked the church 10 years ago.

In a 10-year progress report, the National Review Board said a decade later, "there has been striking improvement in the Church's response to and treatment of victims." It also said "much work still needs to be done."

"Children are safer now because of the creation of safe environments and action has been taken to permanently remove offenders from ministry," the board said.

At the same time, critics questioned the effectiveness of the bishops' efforts. Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, said the bishops "installed loopholes in their 2002 reforms."

Doyle said in last decade the bishops had not reported allegations to law enforcement, bypassed review boards, "overruled, or deceived by diocesan officials" and "substantively accused priests kept in ministry."



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