A priest writes:
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales go far beyond what the US. bishops have done.
Specifically, they had a Lord Nolan led committee examine the whole thing and propose recommendations, then they adopted it.
They bring in religious orders as well as Bishops.
They get it right down to the parish level, where every parish and school has a Child Protection advocate to educate people, and be a contact source for children.
It makes it seem that the US Bishops decisions are more concerned with putting in place “norms” that would protect the Bishops from future law suits.
But the English Bishops are concerned with protecting the Children.
It’s that last line that haunts me the most. Because in my heart, I have a difficult time believing that the paramount concern of (perhaps a majority) of the bishop in Dallas was protecting children. I think their principal concern was protecting themselves. I wish I could say I didn’t think this. But I do. And I think the Zero Tolerance policies are paradoxical witnesses to this. Such policies look good on paper. They satisfy the baying hounds of the press. They *sound* good. But they are shallow and the bishops gave every indication of not wanting to go deep, to look at the pathologies which created this problem. They just wanted people to get off their backs and so they did something fast. I hope the Holy Spirit can multiple some loaves from the bread crumbs they threw Him. My trust is in Him, not in them. And that’s a pathetic thing to have to say. But what have they done to inspire trust?