Catholic faithful across the country have demanded accountability from their bishops for the past year as sexual abuse scandals unfolded at the highest levels of the church. On Thursday, the bishops at last gave their response, in the form of a slate of new policies for policing themselves.
Some Catholics, including advocates for more accountability, celebrated the new rules, which the bishops touted as major action. But to some aggrieved believers, the policies do not go nearly far enough, because they still place the responsibility for handling abuse by bishops in the hands of fellow bishops, despite years of coverups.
“The bishops are the ones making the conclusions,” said Anne Burke, an Illinois Supreme Court justice who chaired the church’s National Review Board when the sexual abuse crisis first erupted in 2002. She called the new system enacted on Thursday “a fallacy.”
“There should be no intermediary — call the police,” she said. “There should be one interview, by professionals.”
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