National Review Board: change in church’s culture needed to end abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“Intimidation, fear, and the misuse of authority created an environment that was taken advantage of by clerics, including bishops, causing harm to minors, seminarians, and those most vulnerable,” the National Review Board said. (National Catholic Reporter)

More committees are not the answer to stop the abuse of children and vulnerable adults by clergy, said an Aug. 28 statement by the National Review Board, which is charged with addressing clerical sexual misconduct in the Catholic Church.

“‘What needs to happen is a genuine change in the church’s culture, specifically among the bishops themselves,’ the board said. ‘This evil has resulted from a loss of moral leadership and an abuse of power that led to a culture of silence that enabled these incidents to occur.

“‘Intimidation, fear, and the misuse of authority created an environment that was taken advantage of by clerics, including bishops, causing harm to minors, seminarians, and those most vulnerable,’ the NRB said. ‘The culture of silence enabled the abuse to go on virtually unchecked. Trust was betrayed for the victims/survivors of the abuse; the entire body of Christ was betrayed in turn by these crimes and the failure to act.’

“The purpose of the NRB, established in 2002 as part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, is to work collaboratively with the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the church.”

By Mark Pattison, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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