February 23, 2005

Halting sex abuse: An audit helps . . .

Boston Herald

By Boston Herald editorial staff
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

An audit released by the U.S. Conference of Bishops confirms that the imperative for child protection to be a central responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church is closer to being realized.

As restitution for victims of priest sexual abuse, a commitment to spare other children from such trauma is more valuable than monetary settlements.

The audit found that some 95 percent of dioceses nationwide have complied with new policies set by the bishops in 2002. That some 1,092 new allegations of sexual abuse nationwide against at least 756 Catholic priests and deacons were made last year, however, indicates this widespread crisis is far from over.

But, undeniably, progress is being made. Under Archbishop Sean O'Malley, annual background checks for some 60,000 priests and other church workers have been implemented. Training of some 30,000 to 40,000 children and 60,000 adults to recognize and properly handle abusive situations has been done, and some 90,000 brochures providing details of the archdiocesan child protection policies and contact information to report abuse have been produced.

Posted by kshaw at February 23, 2005 08:50 AM