Saturday, November 9

From the LATimes (LRR), a reasonable question: The Buck Stops Where?

Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego, chairman of the seven-member panel, said he does not foresee new rules or penalties for bishops who abuse their power or mishandle a crisis. Instead, Brom said, he envisions guidelines for more informal -- perhaps private -- rebukes among the bishops.One possibility would be to empower the church's 33 geographic provinces to confront errant bishops within their borders. The archbishop of Boston, for example, has limited supervision over six other bishops in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.Whatever the final policy, Brom said any discipline or reprimand would encompass aspects of "fraternal support, fraternal challenge and even fraternal correction."

From the NYTimes, a Gallup poll claims that one out of five Catholics have decided to stop giving to their diocese as a result of the sexual abuse scandal

In the survey, about one in nine of the regular Mass-goers said they had been putting less money in their parish collection plate in the months since the abuse scandal began in January. About 3 percent of Catholics — mostly more affluent and conservative parishioners — reported increasing their parish giving.
The nation's 194 dioceses have been harder hit: 19 percent of those surveyed said they stopped supporting their diocese, with some saying they were diverting those donations to other Catholic causes. Charles E. Zech, a Villanova University economics professor who prepared the questionnaire and analyzed the survey results, said in an interview that he was surprised at the consensus among the most faithful Catholics that bishops should be required to make a full report on how much they have spent to respond to sexual abuse allegations. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed called for such a report.

The Globe interviews McChesney

In an interview with the Globe, McChesney, 51, a lifelong Catholic, said her office would not call for resignations of bishops judged to have failed to adhere to the abuse policy. Instead, she said, her office would notify the bishops' conference when bishops or dioceses appeared to be in violation of the policy.Asked whether she would welcome changes to the policy, McChesney declined to comment, saying it would be inappropriate for her to weigh in on the bishops' ''work in progress.''''I don't think I have anything I can add about what I'd like to see or not see. These aren't my norms; they're the norms the bishops developed. So they have to be what they're comfortable with,'' said McChesney, a former Seattle police detective who joined the FBI in 1978 and became executive assistant director of the agency's law enforcement services division.She also declined to take a stance on whether the policy should include a statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, another controversial issue since most of the hundreds of recent allegations of clergy misconduct nationwide are too old, under traditional canon law rules, to be prosecuted. 'That's really difficult to say, because I do know that memories can fade and it's difficult to prosecute cases that are old,'' McChesney said. ''On the other hand, these are very serious crimes, and so you have to weigh that.''

From Westchester County, NY, an interesting look at Indian Christians in the US
In Cincinnati, a judge has extended the term of a grand jury investigating sexual abuse by clergy and church employees and in Louisville, a judge granted a three-month extension to a plaintiff's lawyer to provide answers to church inquiries
The Toledo paper talks to Dr. Janet Smith and Bethany and Sam Torode, advocates of Natural Family Planning.


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