WASHINGTON (November 15, 2002) -- The revised "Essential Norms" for diocesan policies in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. bishops at their meeting here this week, are now available on the Web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
These norms were originally adopted, together with the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," at the bishops' semi-annual meeting in June and sent to the Holy See for its recognitio (approval).
A Mixed Commission met in Rome October 28-29 to revise and strengthen the norms. The work of the Mixed Commission "substantially confirms the decisions made" at the June meeting, said Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the USCCB.
The bishops adopted the revised "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons" by a vote of 246-7, November 13. Later, they overwhelmingly approved revisions to the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" to bring the charter into accord with the revisions of the norms.
Once the revised norms have received the Holy See's recognitio, they will become particular law for all dioceses/eparchies in the United States.
The revised Charter will soon be posted on the Conference Web site also, together with all statements and other documents which the Bishops adopted in their November 11-14 meeting.