WASHINGTON (March 31, 2005)—In a letter dated March 14, 2005, Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), informed the Conference members that the Congregation for Bishops had extended the recognitio (approval) for the "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies.
Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons." The original recognitio expired March 1.
Bishop Skylstad indicated in his letter that the extension had been granted until such time as the USCCB would provide news norms.
"For this reason," Bishop Skylstad told his fellow bishops, "the authorization is for a limited time as we continue to work toward the approval of a revised Charter and Essential Norms at our General Meeting in June."
In his letter, Bishop Skylstad expressed his gratitude to the Congregation and its head, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, "for assisting us in this matter."