WASHINGTON (October 15, 2003) — The U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is now available in Spanish. Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June, 2002, the Charter represents an "unprecedented milestone" for the Catholic Church in the United States, according to Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, of Belleville, Illinois, and USCCB President.
"First, the bishops have resolved to create national standards and policies for dealing with the devastating pain and sorrow of abuse victims," Bishop Gregory said in June, 2002. "Second, we have established national standards and processes for protecting all children in the future. Third, we have committed to and established national processes for consistently and vigilantly dealing with clergy abusers - with no tolerance for any abuse and for barring from the ministry all abusers. Finally, we are committing dioceses and the national organization of the conference to greater involvement of the laity in all these new procedures."
Hispanics currently comprise approximately 39 percent – or 25 million – of the nation's 65 million Catholics. Since 1960, Hispanics have accounted for 71 percent of the Catholic growth in the United States.
The Charter is available in Spanish and English at www.usccb.org/ocyp/charter.shtml, as is ordering information for a pamphlet version published by USCCB Publishing.