‘Effective measures’ will flow from this week’s meeting of American Bishops
The following is a statement from Bishop Alfred Schlert about his strong support of Bishop accountability measures and other issues discussed at this week’s meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The public sessions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting ended without a vote, at the Vatican’s request, on key proposals to hold American Bishops accountable. However, my brother Bishops and I provided strong direction on this important topic, and there are very hopeful signs:
- We are proposing to establish a national board to oversee the conduct of Bishops.
- We plan to establish a third-party reporting mechanism to register any abuse complaints against Bishops.
- We also are proposing that any abuse claims made against a Bishop be referred to his Metropolitan (regional) Archbishop and his independent review board of lay people to investigate.
- The Bishops also strongly endorsed the Vatican’s on-going thorough investigation of allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.
“I am in strong support of these actions, and I am confident that effective measures of accountability for American Bishops will flow from our work in these past few days in Baltimore. The president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference will take these proposals to Rome for the planned February meeting with Pope Francis, where international Church leaders will discuss the global issue of the sexual abuse of minors.
“Thank you for your prayers for me and my brother Bishops.”