US Catholic Bishops Head to Seattle to Discuss Sex Abuse

The US Catholic bishops will gather in Seattle this Wednesday for their three day summer gathering. The summer conference is usually shorter than the one held in November with a correspondingly lighter agenda. However, what makes this year’s summer gathering noteworthy is one particular item on the episcopal agenda. In the wake of the Philadelphia Grand Jury report and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph mishandling of a current abusive priest, the bishops will discuss how to rejuvenate the Dallas Charter originally passed and implemented in 2002. Because of this agenda item, media will likely converge on the meeting and hopefully ask the prelates some tough questions.
In my opinion, not much will come from the meeting. Those who are doing the talking are the same ones largely responsible for the priest abuse scandal in the first place. In nearly a decade of priest abuse cases surfacing all over the country, the bishops themselves have shown little resolve to fix the problem. They are essentially the problem.
In secular society, a community that is confronted with a high crime rate doesn’t look toward the criminals to fix the problem. An outside group must come in and re-establish order and the rule of law. Truthfully, that’s what needs to happen in the Catholic Church. But, don’t hold your breath.