Denver Newsroom, Nov 16, 2020 / 19:14 pm
Clerical sex abuse, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial tensions were the focus of recommendations made by two councils that serve in advisory roles to the U.S. bishops at their fall general assembly.
The video remarks were pre-recorded, and thus were made before the November 10 release of the Vatican’s report on Theodore McCarrick, the former American cardinal who was laicized in 2019.
Deborah Amato, chair of the National Advisory Council, said one of the council’s recommendations was for bishops to make information about abuse protections and interventions more accessible for Catholics.
“While NAC recognizes that detailed and comprehensive reporting is available, the feeling is the information might be more accessible in a one-page infographic that might be in parish bulletins to inform and engage the faithful.”
The National Advisory Council consists of lay as well as religious members from a variety of ethnicities, ages and backgrounds, Amato said, and is “really the church in miniature.” Two of the council’s resolutions for the bishops’ meeting related to listening and dialogue about the ongoing racial tensions in the United States.
The first was that the bishops’ ad-hoc committee against racism be made permanent, although some were concerned that making it permanent “might diminish or compartmentalize the issue, rather than treating it as a ‘concern without boundary,’” Amato said.
The second racism-related resolution was that the bishops engage in a time of listening and self-reflection before engaging in dialogue about racism.
“Self-examination is foundational to the Catholic ethos and something all Christians are called to do regularly,” Amato said.