October 21, 2005

Revising statutes, sex abuse concerns and promoting vocations

Catholic Sentinel

10/20/2005 Bishop Robert Vasa

BEND — The work at the Annual Presbyteral Assembly centered on the revision of the diocesan statutes and guidelines. I found the discussion to be animated and lively, interesting and interested. It seemed to me that the priests took the work we were engaged in very seriously and recognized that it was important not only for them personally but for the diocese as a whole. I found myself wonderfully energized by and grateful for their conscientiousness in tending to details that at times were nothing but tedious.

Having heard the comments and suggestions of the priests and continuing to hear the comments and suggestions of the laity, I am now in a much better position to script the next revised draft. My hope is that the next draft can be ready in the next few months and that it can be reviewed once more at the deanery level and then put into final form for official adoption prior to the end of 2006. There are several sections that require further very serious review and at least one, relating to clergy health care benefits and retirement, that still needs some rather major work. I am most hopeful, at this time, that the document ultimately produced can serve the Church of Eastern and Central Oregon at least as well as its predecessors have served the diocese in the past. Pray that it is so.

That used up a significant portion of the week. Another thing that occupied a lot of time was trying to respond to all the folks across the nation who wrote and mostly emailed with expressions of concern about “safe environment” programs for children. My public expression of my own concerns and questions seems to have created a kind of locus to which a significant number of concerned parents have gravitated.

Posted by kshaw at October 21, 2005 08:50 AM