Jun 16, 2011 / 13:11 pm
At their spring meeting in Seattle on June 16, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a revision of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” incorporating new Vatican guidelines on abuse cases.
Bishop Blase J. Cupich, chairman of the bishops' Committee on the Protection for Children and Young People, said that the charter is already “working” to protect children. But he explained that the document would now align more closely with Vatican directives on the “most grave crimes” that were released last summer.
According to the revisions, child pornography will be considered a crime against Church law, and the abuse of someone who “habitually lacks reason” will be considered child abuse.
The U.S. bishops' child protection charter was first established in 2002 in response to cases of abuse by Catholic clergy stretching back several decades. It will undergo another revision in two years, taking into account a study on the causes and context of clergy sexual abuse that was released in May.