Bishop’s Abuse Report Released

The 2010 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People has been made public. The 93 page document is a self congratulatory document whose goal is to show how much the US bishops have done to protect children. However, if you read the document carefully, you’ll notice there are some troubling setbacks noted in the report: allowing clergy barred from ministry to lead public prayers, not monitoring parishes, not keeping track of the “safe environment training” required of priests, and failing to enforce other measures intended to end abuse. While these failures are mentioned in the report, it will take the discerning eyes of a knowledgeable reader to pick up on this as a disturbing trend.
The failures mentioned are central tenets in providing safety and security to children. These failures are not harmless clerical oversights but real failures in protecting children. Perhaps more disturbing, the failures have increased in comparison to last year. Auditors sent warning letters to 55 participating dioceses in 2010 compared to 23 in 2009.
Finally, it’s important to note that this report is based on the bishops’ self-reporting of data in their own diocese. Secondly, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia passed the audit! That should give us all pause.