Why don’t we let the US Catholic Bishops Conference speak for itself? Most
people have the impression that the Church is still turning a blind eye to
abuse. Nonsense:

“The Catholic Church has done more to protect children than almost any
other organization in the United States. Consider:

Safe Environment training is taking place in 193 dioceses/eparchies of
the country. Over 2 million adults have been trained to recognize the behavior
of offenders and what to do about it. Background checks are conducted on Church
personnel who have contact with children. Over 2 million volunteers and
employees; 52,000 clerics; 6,205 candidates for ordination have had their
backgrounds evaluated.

All dioceses/eparchies have Codes of Conduct spelling out what is
acceptable behavior. This serves to let people know what can and cannot be done
as well as letting others know what behavior can be expected. It encourages the
reporting of suspicious behavior. All dioceses/eparchies have Victim Assistance
Coordinators, assuring victims that they will be heard. In 2009, $6,536,109 was
spent on therapy for the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

All dioceses/eparchies have Safe Environment Coordinators who assure
the ongoing compliance to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Bishops are meeting with victims. Dioceses/eparchies have Healing Masses,
retreats for victim/survivors and other reconciliation events.

There is a Zero Tolerance policy on abusers since 2002. If a credible
accusation is made against a cleric, they are permanently removed from ministry
regardless of how long ago the offense occurred.
Dioceses/eparchies require
intensive background screening as well as psychological testing for those
wishing to enter the seminary.

“The Catholic Church has worked hard to protect children. Much has done
but more needs to be done. Until child sexual abuse is no longer a part of
society, the Church will continue its efforts to stop it.” For more information and links to other reports on abuse, see the USCCB website

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.