Bishops Won’t Focus on Abuse Policies

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Despite recent cases in which Roman Catholic bishops failed to report or suspend priests accused of child sexual abuse, the bishops head into a meeting in Seattle on Wednesday proposing no significant revisions to the abuse prevention policies they passed in 2002 at the height of the scandal.

The bishops had promised that they would take a hard look at their policies in light of new accusations in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Mo., that have shaken many Catholics, not just in those dioceses, but across the country as well. The incidents have led some Catholics to question whether bishops are complying with their own policies, and whether there is any accountability for bishops who do not.

In the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert W. Finn admitted last month that he allowed a priest who had taken pornographic pictures of parish girls to continue celebrating Mass and having access to children.

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