Clergy sex abuse victims will stage a Reformation
Day on October 31 to call for sweeping changes in the Catholic Church. The
organisers told John Allen, of the National Catholic Reporter that they have a
four-point platform
:

Regular
independent audits of dioceses and other church bodies regarding their
policies and procedures on preventing abuse and dealing with cases when
they arise, with those audits mandated by Rome for the entire global
church.

Outreach
to victims, including spiritual, pastoral, and mental health support. As
part of that effort, Horne said the Vatican should create a “think
tank” to study best practices and to make them official policy for
the universal church.

Effective
screening programs for seminarians, priests and bishops, including
enhanced opportunities for laity to participate in the selection of
bishops. Education programs in sexual abuse should also be a mandatory
element of formation for future priests around the world.

Participation
by sex abuse survivors in all policy-setting bodies, including national
review boards and whatever review board for the global church the Vatican
might create.

The organisers
say that these reflect policies already adopted by the US Catholic church but that
other countries also need to adopt them. October 31 was selected because it
coincides with another “Reformation Day”, commemorating the moment in 1517 when
Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a German church.  

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet.