WASHINGTON (October 30, 2002) -- The Mixed Commission established by the Vatican to reflect upon and revise the Essential Norms related to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops" Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People concluded the second day of a two-day meeting in Rome.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who led the U.S. delegation, reported the completion of the task to Bishop Wilton Gregory, October 29, from Rome.
"The four U.S. Bishops representing the Conference in the Mixed Commission will report to their brother Bishops during the November meeting in Washington, D.C. We believe that the goals of the Dallas decision, i.e. to protect minors and to reach out to victims, have been preserved and that the Dallas documents have been completed in elaborating normative procedures that respect the rights of priests who have been accused," he said.
Other members of the delegation from the United States in addition to Cardinal George, included Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco, Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Illinois, and Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB, who named the U.S. members of the Mixed Commission, voiced his gratitude for the efforts of the Commission in an October 29 message to all the bishops of the United States.
"While we will discuss this important work at our General Meeting, I want to take this opportunity to express my deep fraternal gratitude to Cardinal George, Archbishop Levada, Bishop Doran and Bishop Lori for their willingness to represent the Conference on the Mixed Commission, and to representatives of the Holy See for their pastoral concern for the church in the United States," he said.
During the Nov. 11-14 meeting of the USCCB, the bishops will discuss the recommended changes and vote on amendments to the norms.
Vatican members of the Commission were Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy; Archbishop Juliàn Herranz, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, Secretary for the Congregation for Bishops.
The Charter and norms were approved last June by the USCCB at their Spring meeting in Dallas and sent to the Vatican for recognitio (recognition). In mid-October, during Bishop Gregory"s annual Fall visit to Rome, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, called for the Mixed Commission to address concerns in the charter and norms.