Spanish bishops adopt guidelines for tackling clergy abuse

— Compiled with the Vatican’s Madrid nunciature, the ‘guidelines for action’ would be binding throughout the Spanish church

This photograph taken on October 18, 2022, in Madrid shows statues of the 12 Apostles on the Almudena cathedral rooftop, in Central Madrid.

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Spain’s Catholic bishops have adopted guidelines for tackling sexual abuse by clergy, while also urging the prohibition of surrogacy and restating the church’s political independence in key upcoming elections.

In a weekend statement following its April 17-21 plenary, the bishops’ conference said the “guidelines for action,” worked on since April 2019, had now been approved for all dioceses and religious orders in light of Pope Francis’ recent updates to his 2019 apostolic letter on abuse, “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”), which take effect April 30.

The conference added that the guidelines, compiled with the Vatican’s Madrid nunciature, would be binding throughout the Spanish church and face updates whenever canonical regulations changed.

The announcement follows a March 13 report by a lay commission, appointed by Spain’s Cortes parliament in March 2022 under ombudsman Ángel Gabilondo, which said it so far collected testimonies from 445 victims of alleged clerical abuse, but still awaited access to church files and “collaboration by different levels of the Catholic church.”

However, in an April 17 opening address to the plenary, the bishops’ conference president, Cardinal Juan Omella of Barcelona, said the Spanish church had opened 202 diocesan and monastic offices for “action and training” against abuse in the last two years, backed by a central “coordination and advisory service,” set up in April 2021.

“It is not enough to ask for forgiveness — we want this scourge to disappear from our society, and are therefore continuing to collaborate with judges, prosecutors and the ombudsman, providing all the information we have and activating our protocols,” said Cardinal Omella, who attended his first Rome meeting April 24 as a new member of the pope’s Council of Cardinals — the pontiff’s advisers.

“However, we regret this painful issue is not being addressed in its global dimension but insistently analyzed as a drama exclusively within the ambit of the church. The church confesses its sin, but deplores that an issue affecting many other sectors of society is not being properly exposed, so a solution can be sought which encompasses the full extent of this social problem.”

On a separate note, the bishops’ conference called for a ban on surrogate motherhood in Spain, adding that the “development of healthy democracy” required that “no individual, majority or state” should attempt to “create, modify or destroy” established values.

It added that the church recognized the suffering of couples “afflicted by infertility,” but said there was no “right to a child” and deplored Spanish society being left “in darkness caused by unjust laws promulgated against life and dignity.”

“Maternity by surrogacy is, unequivocally, a new form of exploiting women contrary to the dignity of the human person, since it uses the female body and her entire person, reducing her to a human incubator,” the note from the bishops’ Commission for Laity continued.

“With the so-called ‘rental uterus,’ maternity becomes an object of commerce to be bought and sold,” it said. “The woman is reduced to a simple instrument, a womb at the disposal of the contracting party, opening the way to the human person’s exploitation and commercialization.”

The note was the latest to criticize the socialist-led government of Pedro Sánchez, who in June 2018 became Spain’s prime minister to decline to take his inaugural oath on the Bible, and formed a left-wing coalition with the radical Podemos party in January 2020 under a program pledging liberal changes.

In March, Spain’s Constitutional Tribunal approved government-backed laws withdrawing state subsidies from Catholic single-sex schools and allowing euthanasia for patients suffering “intolerable physical or psychological conditions.”

Other new laws, enacted in February, will allow 16-year-olds to obtain abortions without informing their parents and re-register their gender through a court declaration without medical or legal procedures, while also liberalizing sex education and criminalizing prayers outside abortion clinics.

Tax exemptions on church donations and public works, established in 2001 under an agreement with the Vatican, also were scrapped March 29, while a draft family law will recognize 16 different “family types.”

The conservative opposition Partido Popular and Vox parties have accused the Sánchez government of overturning Spain’s system of values and vowed to challenge the new measures if successful on May 28 regional and Dec. 10 parliamentary elections.

However, at an April 21 Madrid press conference, the bishops’ conference general secretary, Auxiliary Bishop César García Magán of Toledo, said the church would remain neutral in the elections, adding that no political party could claim to be the “party of the church.”

“Let’s hope that no one uses the church as a bargaining chip or throwing weapon in prior political debates,” Bishop García Magán told the Alfa y Omega Catholic weekly.
“It’s the lay faithful who must make a practical assessment of who to deposit their votes for. Priests should not indicate this since that would constitute clericalism.”

Although 53.7% of Spain’s 47 million inhabitants still identify as Catholic, according to March data, religious vocations and Mass attendance have dropped sharply across the church’s 70 dioceses and 23,000 parishes, while well over half of all 18-34-year-olds declare themselves nonreligious.

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Pope in Hungary urges Europe to unite to end war next door

Pope Francis, left, is greeted by Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the square of “Sándor” Palace in Budapest, Friday, April 28, 2023. The Pontiff is in Hungary for a three-day pastoral visit.

By Nicole Winfield and Justin Spike

Pope Francis on Friday blasted the “adolescent belligerence” that brought war back to Europe and said the continent must recover its founding spirit of peaceful unity to confront Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Francis outlined his vision for the future of Europe as he began a three-day visit to Hungary. In a carefully calibrated speech, he demanded that the European Union approve safe and legal ways for migrants to enter and for the Hungarian government not to hold Europe “hostage” to populist demands.

Francis didn’t mince words when he addressed President Katalin Novak and Hungary’s populist prime minister, Viktor Orban, whose lukewarm support for Ukraine has rankled other EU countries. The pontiff recalled the lofty ideals behind the bloc’s founding and lamented that rising nationalism and “adolescent belligerence” had replaced them.

“We seem to be witnessing the sorry sunset of that choral dream of peace, as the solists of war now take over,” Francis said. “At this historical juncture, Europe is crucial. … It is called to take up its proper role, which is to unite those far apart, to welcome those other peoples and refuse to consider anyone an eternal enemy.”

Hungarian officials said the pope’s visit, his second to Budapest in as many years, was designed primarily to let him minister to the country’s Catholic community. But with the war in neighboring Ukraine and Orban butting heads with other EU nations over rule of law issues and LGBTQ+ rights, Francis’ words and deeds in the heart of Europe carried strong political undertones.

He has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution to the war and expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people, although his trip to Hungary brought Francis the nearest he’s gotten to the front line of the fighting.

The pope plans to meet Saturday with some of the 35,000 Ukrainian refugees who remain in Hungary. Nearly 2.5 million refugees entered the country early on in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Orban has called for a cease-fire. But the nationalist prime minister has refused to supply Kyiv with weapons and threatened to veto EU sanctions against Moscow while maintaining Hungary’s strong dependence on Russian energy. His government also said it would not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the subject of an international arrest warrant on war crimes charges, if he came to Hungary.

While sharing his hopes for Europe, Francis appeared to call out the country’s growing isolation.

“I think of a Europe that is not hostage to its parts, neither falling prey to self-referential forms of populism nor resorting to a fluid, if not vapid, supra-nationalism that loses sight of the life of its peoples,” the pope said.

Novak, for her part, praised Francis as a man of peace and asked him to confer with “Kyiv and Moscow, to Washington, Brussels, Budapest and to anyone without whom there can be no peace. Here, in Budapest, we ask you to act personally for a just peace as soon as possible!”

Francis has expressed appreciation for Hungary’s recent welcome of Ukrainian refugees, but his views on the moral imperative to welcome all people fleeing conflict, poverty and climate change contrast with Orban’s hard line on migration. In 2015-2016, Hungary built a razor wire fence on the border with Serbia to stop people from entering – .

Francis said time was up for Europe’s “excuses and delay” in responding to the hundreds of thousands of migrants who risk their lives trying to reach the continent each year. He called for the EU to agree on “secure and legal corridors” that would provide a safer route.

Europe must come up with “shared mechanisms to confront an epochal challenge that cannot be faced by pushing back, but must be welcomed to prepare a future that, unless it is shared, will not exist,” the pope said.

The 86-year-old pontiff, who walks with difficulty because of bad knee ligaments, is testing his frail health with his latest trip. He spent four days in the hospital last month with bronchitis. Hungarian officials had hoped Francis would travel around the country, but the Vatican opted to keep him in Budapest, where he spent seven hours in 2021 to close out a church congress.

The visit comes as the European Union’s legislature continues to put pressure on Hungary to counter what EU lawmakers consider a deterioration in the rule of law and democratic principles, including media freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.

The four biggest groups in the European Parliament have called on the bloc’s executive commission to withhold pandemic recovery funds for Hungary until liberal democracy principles are met.

Francis didn’t wade in directly to the dispute, but he quoted the Hungarian Constitution and the founder of the Hungarian state, St. Stephen, in calling for the country to remain open toward others, another apparent reference to Orban’s nativist rhetoric.

On LGBTQ+ rights, the pope and the Hungarian government’s policies were not totally at odds. Catholic doctrine forbids gay marriage, though Francis has backed legal protections for people in same-sex unions.

He also has long ministered to gay and transgender Catholics while condemning “gender ideology” as an alleged form of the West’s ideological colonization of the developing world.

Hungary outlaws same-sex marriage, and the government has prohibited same-sex couples from adopting children. The government has also outlawed the depiction of homosexuality or divergent gender identities to minors in media content.

Francis repeated his condemnation of “gender ideology” Friday along with what he described as “the so-called right to abortion.” He praised Hungary for promoting family values.

“How much better it would be to build a Europe centered on the human person and on its peoples, with effective polices for natality and the family – policies that are pursued attentively in this country,” he said.

Francis’ arrival was met with a quiet welcome, with small groups of people cheering his motorcade as it entered the city center. Zoltan Gozner, a religious education teacher from Esztergom, north of Budapest, took his class to a place on the motorcade’s route so students could see it.

>“Hungary is still a Christian country, and we are a guardian of this faith,” he said.

Complete Article HERE!

In a historic shift

— Pope Francis allows women to vote at bishops’ meetings

Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

By The Associated Press

Pope Francis has decided to give women the right to vote at an upcoming meeting of bishops, an historic reform that reflects his hopes to give women greater decision-making responsibilities and laypeople more say in the life of the Catholic Church.

Francis approved changes to the norms governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican body that gathers the world’s bishops together for periodic meetings, following years of demands by women to have the right to vote.

The Vatican on Wednesday published the modifications he approved, which emphasize his vision for the lay faithful taking on a greater role in church affairs that have long been left to clerics, bishops and cardinals.

Catholic women’s groups that have long criticized the Vatican for treating women as second-class citizens immediately praised the move as historic in the 2,000-year life of the church.

“This is a significant crack in the stained glass ceiling, and the result of sustained advocacy, activism and the witness” of a campaign of Catholic women’s groups demanding the right to vote, said Kate McElwee of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for women priests.

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernized the church, popes have summoned the world’s bishops to Rome for a few weeks at a time to debate particular topics. At the end of the meetings, the bishops vote on specific proposals and put them to the pope, who then produces a document taking their views into account.

Until now, the only people who could vote were men. But under the new changes, five religious sisters will join five priests as voting representatives for religious orders. In addition, Francis has decided to appoint 70 non-bishop members of the synod and has asked that half of them be women. They too will have a vote.

The aim is also to include young people among these 70 non-bishop members, who will be proposed by regional blocs, with Francis making a final decision.

“It’s an important change, it’s not a revolution,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, a top organizer of the synod.

The next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 4-29, is focused on the very topic of making the church more reflective of, and responsive to, the laity, a process known as “synodality” that Francis has championed for years.

The October meeting has been preceded by an unprecedented two-year canvassing of the lay Catholic faithful about their vision for the church and how it can better respond to the needs of Catholics today.

So far only one women is known to be a voting member of that October meeting, Sister Nathalie Becquart, a French nun who is undersecretary in the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops office. When she was appointed to the position in 2021, she called Francis “brave” for having pushed the envelope on women’s participation.

By the end of next month, seven regional blocs will propose 20 names apiece of non-bishop members to Francis, who will select 10 names apiece to bring the total to 70.

Cardinal Mario Grech, who is in charge of the synod, stressed that with the changes, some 21% of the gathered representatives at the October meeting will be non-bishops, with half of that group women.

Acknowledging the unease within the hierarchy of Francis’ vision of inclusivity, he stressed that the synod itself would continue to have a majority of bishops calling the shots.

“Change is normal in life and history,” Hollerich told reporters. “Sometimes there are revolutions in history, but revolutions have victims. We don’t want to have victims,” he said, chuckling.

Catholic Women’s Ordination, a British-based group that says it’s devoted to fighting misogyny in the church, welcomed the reform but asked for more.

“CWO would want transparency, and lay people elected from dioceses rather than chosen by the hierarchy, but it is a start!” said the CWO’s Pat Brown.

Hollerich declined to say how the female members of the meeting would be called, given that members have long been known as “synodal fathers.” Asked if they would be known as “synodal mothers,” he responded that it would be up to the women to decide.

Francis has upheld the Catholic Church’s ban on ordaining women as priests, but has done more than any pope in recent time to give women greater say in decision-making roles in the church.

He has appointed several women to high-ranking Vatican positions, though no women head any of the major Vatican offices or departments, known as dicasteries.

Complete Article HERE!

Archbishop Clarifies Remarks on Assisted Dying in Italy

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is pictured in a file photo during a Vatican news conference Jan. 15, 2019.

By Cindy Wooden

The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life affirms his opposition to euthanasia and assisted dying but believes that to end confusion in the country, the Italian Parliament needs to make clear laws about withdrawing end-of-life care, his office said.

“Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in full conformity with the church’s magisterium, reaffirms his ‘no’ to euthanasia and assisted dying,” his office said in a statement April 24.

The archbishop participated in a debate April 19 about end-of-life issues, and the complete text of his remarks was published April 21 by the Italian news site Il Riformista. Some websites, reporting on his remarks, claimed he defended euthanasia and medically assisted dying.

The experience of countries where medically “assisted death” is permitted by law, he had said, shows that “the pool of people admitted tends to expand; competent adult patients are joined by patients in whom decision-making capacity is impaired, sometimes severely,” for example, psychiatric patients, children, the elderly with cognitive impairment.

“Cases of involuntary euthanasia and deep palliative sedation without consent have thus grown,” the archbishop had said. “The overall result is that we are witnessing a contradictory outcome: in the name of self-determination, we are constricting the actual exercise of freedom, especially for those who are most vulnerable.”

The desire of terminally ill patients to spare themselves and their families further suffering — and sometimes, further expense — and the difficulty caregivers have in seeing their loved ones suffer have made questions about end-of-life care a pressing issue, he said.

Pain relief, palliative care and supportive accompaniment of the sick and their family members is essential, the archbishop had told his audience. With serious palliative therapy and accompaniment, he said, “in many cases the demand for euthanasia disappears, but not always.”

Euthanasia and physician-assisted dying are not legal in Italy. However, in 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that those involved in an assisted dying are not punishable when the patient is “suffering from an irreversible pathology” causing “physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable” and is being kept alive by life-support treatments.

The court, which ruled only on the punishability of assisting or convincing someone to commit suicide, urged parliament to take up the matter with democratic debate and clear legislation to fill the legal void so the judiciary would not be left to regulate.

But Parliament has not succeeded in coming up with legislation, so requests for assistance in dying and suspected cases of assisting a suicide still are being handled by the courts. Right-to-die activists succeeded in gathering more than 1 million signatures for a referendum supporting the repeal of an article criminalizing active euthanasia, but the Constitutional Court blocked it in 2022, saying it would violate constitutional protections of human life.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, chancellor of the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family, greets Pope Francis Oct. 24, 2022, during an audience with staff and students of the institute in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.

In such a context, Archbishop Paglia had said, “it is not to be ruled out that a legal mediation is feasible in our society that would allow assisted dying under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court sentence 242/2019: the person must be being ‘kept alive by life-support treatment and suffering from an irreversible pathology, the source of physical or psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable, but fully capable of making free and conscious decisions.’”

“Personally,” the archbishop told his audience, “I would not assist with a suicide, but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions in which we find ourselves.”

The academy’s statement April 24 noted that the Italian Constitutional Court ruling referenced by the archbishop held that “assisting a suicide is a crime. It then enumerated four specific and particular conditions in which the crime carries no penalty.”

“In this precise and specific context, Archbishop Paglia explained that in his view a ‘legislative initiative’ — certainly not a moral one — could be possible which would be consistent with the decision, and which preserves both the criminality of the act and the conditions in which the crime carries no penalty, as the court requested Parliament to legislate.”

“For Archbishop Paglia, it is important that the decision holds that the criminality of the act remains and is not overruled,” his office said. “On the scientific and cultural level, Archbishop Paglia has always supported the need for accompaniment of the sick in the final phase of life, using palliative care and loving personal attention, to ensure that no one is left to face alone the illness and suffering, and difficult decisions, that the end of life brings.”

Complete Article HERE!

Progress Made Protecting Minors, but Adults Remain Vulnerable to Clergy Abuse, Say Experts

A child is pictured in a file photo drawing during a therapy session. Experts are assessing the impact of the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (also known as the Dallas Charter), and highlight the work to be done in implementing the newly revised motu proprio “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (You are the light of the world), which focuses on protecting vulnerable adults from sexual abuse by church leaders.

By Gina Christian

The Catholic Church in the U.S. has made progress over the past two decades in confronting sexual abuse against minors within the church, but has only begun to address the vulnerability of adults to sexual abuse by clergy, religious and lay leaders, experts told OSV News.

“We’ve accomplished a tremendous amount in the area of (creating) safe environments,” said Suzanne Healy, chairwoman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board, a lay-led group that advises the bishops on preventing sexual abuse of minors.

At the same time, “there’s still a lot more work to be done” in extending safeguards to adults, said Healy, a licensed marriage and family therapist who served as the victim assistance coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 2007 to 2016.

At present, two key documents lay out broad protocols for the response of the Catholic Church in the U.S. to sexual abuse by its clergy, religious and other pastoral leaders.

In 2002, as a number of clerical abuse scandals emerged, the U.S. Catholic bishops implemented the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The document — commonly called the Dallas Charter — lays out a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of abuse.

A year after the charter’s most recent revision in 2018, Pope Francis issued the motu proprio “Vox Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”), outlining global legal procedures for how the church should deal with clergy sexual abuse, including procedures for investigating bishops.

The document, implemented for a three-year experimental period beginning June 1, 2019, included the term “vulnerable person,” defined as “any person in a state of infirmity, physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal liberty which, in fact, even occasionally, limits their ability to understand or to want or otherwise resist the offense.”

On March 25, Pope Francis published an updated version with the specific term “vulnerable adults,” without altering the previous definition. The revised text also was broadened to include investigations of leaders of Vatican-recognized international Catholic lay associations and movements.

Protecting vulnerable adults represents “a new frontier” for the Catholic Church, said Deacon Bernard Nojadera, executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

“The landscape is continually changing,” he told OSV News. “You’re looking at issues such as power differentials among adults, the relationships of those who are in positions of authority, the responsibilities for creating boundaries so that relationships that develop are healthy and holy.”

Pastoral counseling and spiritual direction are particular areas of concern where adults are vulnerable, explained Deacon Nojadera.

Counseling professionals are aware of the potential for human weaknesses on both sides to derail appropriate interactions — a dynamic known as “transference and countertransference,” Deacon Nojadera explained — with client and counselor at risk of projecting unmet needs upon each other. However, Deacon Nojadera stressed, “The counselor or director needs to set that boundary, regardless of the vulnerable adult.”

In the U.S., professional counselors and therapists face criminal and civil penalties for sexualizing a relationship with a patient; increasingly state jurisdictions are updating laws to explicitly include clergy as well.

In January 2018, then-Father Jacob Bertrand of the Diocese of San Diego was convicted under a Minnesota state law of sexually abusing a woman who placed herself in his spiritual care.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Bertrand’s “holy conversations” led to a sexual relationship he told his victim was “the second holiest sacrifice next to Jesus and Mary on Calvary.”

Many church jurisdictions have yet to adopt the standard set by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a key figure in the church’s fight against clergy sexual abuse, for the Maltese Ecclesiastical Province. The archbishop of Malta also is adjunct secretary of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Those 2014 directives make clear that sexual contact or sexualized behavior between a “pastoral functionary” (including any bishop, cleric, religious, or lay person) and adults in a pastoral relationship “is considered to be always abusive, whether with or without consent.”

Similar to the Minnesota law, the 2014 Maltese directives recognize the clergy are responsible for maintaining boundaries in their pastoral relationships, and prohibit a defense alleging the sexual relationship was consensual.

Reporting and information sharing regarding allegations of the sexual abuse of adults within the church remains inconsistent and often murky, said Kathy Kane, editor of Catholics4Change, which describes itself as an “accountability blog” focusing on child protection issues in the Catholic Church.

“We know there have been a number of investigations under the ‘Vos Estis’ norms, but there is still very little transparency about even which investigations are ongoing, and what the results of the completed ones are,” she told OSV News. “The reality is that there’s been some positive progress in terms of accountability for bishops, but we still have a system where we’re asking bishops to police other bishops, specifically those who are located close to them and often have personal relationships with them. That’s a system that in itself lacks the kind of transparency and accountability we need.”

“I have heard anecdotally of cases where priests … who are facing allegations of abuse of adults are removed with a false explanation given to their parishes for their absence,” said Sara Larson, executive director of AWAKE Milwaukee, an independent nonprofit that supports those who have experienced sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. “They’re simply put on ‘medical leave’ or moved to another parish with no explanation.”

Both Larson and Kane cited instances where priests under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of adults have continued in ministry with a public character. Larson pointed to concerns over Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik, accused of abusing women religious but reported by Italian media in March to have concelebrated a Mass in Rome that, though ostensibly private, was nonetheless open to the public.

Kane noted the case of former Philadelphia priest Kevin McGoldrick, now a defendant, along with the Archdiocese of Philadlephia, in an April 18 civil lawsuit filed by “Jane Doe,” who claims McGoldrick abused and raped her during his tenure as a chaplain at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Even after Doe advised the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of the alleged abuse, McGoldrick — a singer-songwriter — appeared at a family music festival in the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota.

“When you have a man onstage headlining a music festival, singing the ‘Sesame Street’ theme song while he’s under investigation for the alleged assault of a college student, how is this progress?” asked Kane.

A national database tracking reports of abuse investigations and their outcomes in the Catholic Church throughout the U.S. could help dioceses and other Catholic entities be aware of red flags about clergy, religious, or lay leaders from outside their jurisdiction, particularly those that may have responsibilities or roles in multiple organizations.

Mike McDonnell, communications manager for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) told OSV News that a national database would greatly enhance transparency, while improving protections for both minors and adults.

“A national database hosted by the USCCB, with oversight by a third party, would absolutely be a great tool,” he said.

“Each diocese would then have the opportunity to say, ‘We cannot take this cleric or professional, because we see there were reports of concerns in the home diocese.’”

Preventing and addressing abuse, while ensuring the healing and affirmation of survivors, is a task for all Catholics, said the National Review Board’s Healy.

“This is not just for the bishops or the people working in the diocese,” she said. “The whole church needs to be open to this work, helping to create and adhere to policies, saying something when you see something amiss, and helping survivors to heal by believing, affirming and accompanying them.”

Complete Article HERE!