Sister Sharon Euart
"A genuine spirit of openness and transparency about finances, allegations, negotiations and settlements" is needed from church leaders "if trust is to be restored and credibility rebuilt" after the clergy sex abuse crisis, said Mercy Sister Sharon Euart June 8, 2007, at the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America in Los Angeles. Sister Euart, a canon law consultant and former associate general secretary of what is now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke at a panel discussion on issues behind the sexual abuse crisis. In hindsight, she said, a "better approach" to the crisis by the bishops might have been "open discussions about this matter as early as the mid-1980s ... until the public was as much aware of the bishops' commitment to dealing with the problem as they were with the original misconduct." The scandal highlighted the importance of episcopal accountability, meaningful collaboration with the laity on issues of church governance and streamlined canonical procedures for removal from ministry of priests who have abused children, she said. In what is "perhaps a positive development to emerge from the clergy sexual abuse crisis," diocesan/eparchial review boards have become "a crucial consultative structure for the input of the lay faithful," Sister Euart said. She also called for changes in the selection process for bishops that would give "increased attention to the candidate's ability and willingness to be accountable within the ecclesial communion" and greater consultation with "knowledgeable clergy and laity" during the selection process. The text of Sister Euart's speech follows.
The range of issues raised in the description of today's seminar is quite broad, the scope of which might suggest the chapter headings for a lengthy book. With that in mind, I hope to provide a modest reflection from a canonical perspective on some of the issues that have been highlighted as a result of the clergy sexual abuse crisis that has gripped the church in the United States and indeed throughout the world for the past five years.
My observations this afternoon touch upon three topics: (1) participation by the faithful in the life and governance of the church, (2) the call for greater episcopal accountability, and (3) the role and authority of the episcopal conference and its relationship to the Holy See.
Participation in the Church's Life and Governance
In the 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" the U.S. bishops stated at the conclusion, "We wish to affirm our concern especially with regard to issues related to effective consultation of the laity and the participation of God's people in decision-making that affects their well-being."(1)
Unfortunately, this acknowledgment was not included in the later version of the charter approved by the bishops in 2005. The deletion of this important sentence, while perhaps unintended, is regrettable since it promoted, in a more general and comprehensive way, participation of the lay faithful in the life and governance of the church on matters beyond the sexual abuse of minors.
We canonists know - because theologians have taught us - that the foundation for participation in the life of the church is theological. Structures for participation are to reflect the nature of the church itself as a communion, an assembly of the faithful, a gathering of believers around the local bishop. Participation in the life of the church finds its basis in the experience of ecclesial communion, the cum-munus - the sense of being involved with others in the same task - a commonality shared by all the faithful.(2)
Vatican II's ecclesiology of communion is the basis for the development of instruments for participation at all levels of church life. Pope John Paul II contributed much to our understanding of this ecclesiology, particularly in his apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte(3) ("At the Beginning of the New Millennium"). The pope insists that "before making practical plans, we need to promote a spirituality of communion," which he grounds in "the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us" (No. 43).
John Paul further says that "such a vision of communion is closely linked to the Christian community's ability to make room for all the gifts of the Spirit," creating what he describes as "an organic blending of legitimate diversities." At the same time he cautions: "Unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without a soul, 'masks' of communion rather than its means of expression and growth" (No. 43).
Pope John Paul II's treatment of a "spirituality of communion" recalls the Pauline notion of the church as the body of Christ, in which each member is called to make a contribution to the life of the whole according to the gifts and abilities each has received. In offering practical suggestions as to how this contribution can take place within the ecclesial communion, John Paul II says, "The new century will have to see us more than ever intent on valuing and developing the forums and structures that, in accordance with the Second Vatican Council's major directives, serve to ensure and safeguard communion" (No. 44). And he describes the theology and spirituality of communion as encouraging a "fruitful dialogue between pastors and the faithful" (No. 45).
The relationship between ecclesial communion and participation in the life and governance of the church was addressed later in the 2003 apostolic exhortation Pastores Gregis,(4) following the 2001 Synod of Bishops. John Paul II characterizes a bishop's pastoral style of governance, developed in the context of a "lived ecclesial communion," as increasingly open to collaboration with all (No. 44). He describes the interplay between the personal responsibility of the bishop for the good of the church entrusted to him, on the one hand, and the contribution offered by the faithful through diocesan structures for participation, on the other, as a reciprocal one (No. 44). For it is by means of and through such structures that the governing authority of the diocesan bishop is exercised.
This sharing of responsibility for the life of the particular church on the part of the bishop and the faithful is an essential element of ecclesial communion that will be evident in "both the bishop's personal responsibility and in the sharing of the faithful in that responsibility" (No. 44). The apostolic exhortation further states that this spirituality of communion will awaken "ever new forms of participation and shared responsibility in the faithful" (ibid.).
This theological foundation for participative structures in the life and governance of the church finds expression in several canons of the Code of Canon Law. Canon 211, for example, states the duty and right of all the Christian faithful "to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land."
This call to mission is repeated specifically for laypersons in Canon 225 and is the basis for the rights of the faithful affirmed in other canons: the right to form associations (Canon 215), to assemble (Canon 215), to take initiative in apostolic activity (Canon 216), to a Christian education (Canon 217) and to assist the bishops as experts and advisers even in councils (Canon 228.2).
Canon 212, reflecting particularly Lumen Gentium, 37 and Apostolicam Actuositatem, 6, specifies further the duty and right of the Christian faithful to participate in the inner life of the church. While obliged to follow what bishops declare as teachers of faith or determine as leaders of the church, Canon 212 expresses the rights of the faithful to make known their needs and desires to their bishops and to express opinions on matters which pertain to the good of the church, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward pastors and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons.
Lumen Gentium further suggests that making known such opinions "should be done through the institutions established by the church for that purpose" (No. 37). These forms of participation are ecclesial rights that flow from baptism and that many members of the faithful are not aware are theirs as baptized members of the church.
The interaction of bishops and the faithful in structures for participation is not a theoretical question; it is a practical matter. Participative structures in the church are not efforts to incorporate democratic procedures into the church. For the church is neither a democracy, nor a constitutional monarchy, nor an oligarchy. The church cannot be compared to any political model for it is uniquely a spiritual communion guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.(5)
This notion was not so clear in the 1917 code, which tended to view the church as a counterpart of the state with structures modeled on the state. Vatican II's ecclesiology on the nature of the church called for a novus habitus mentis in the church's approach to governance and law. As a consequence, participative structures are now properly seen as practical expressions of the church as the communion of the faithful and expressions of the reality that the church needs structures through which it stays in touch with the Spirit that dwells in our midst.(6)
It is clear that there is no dearth of theological and pastoral bases for participative structures. What may be lacking is follow-through: the establishment and effective use of councils, commissions and other structures of participation.
The Code of Canon Law requires that certain participative structures or consultative bodies be established in each diocese to assist the bishop in the governance of the diocese and in his pastoral ministry to the local church. These include the presbyteral council, college of consultors, diocesan and parish finance councils. At the same time, the code provides for the establishment of other bodies such as the diocesan synod (Canons 460-468) and diocesan and parish pastoral councils to the extent that pastoral circumstances warrant such structures (Canon 511).
John Paul II in Novo Millennio Ineunte recalls the ancient pastoral wisdom which "encouraged pastors to listen more widely to the entire people of God" (No. 45) and urges its application in today's church. The revised code reflects that wisdom by not impeding bishops from fashioning appropriate consultative mechanisms for their dioceses other than those required or recommended in the code. Thus there exist in many dioceses various councils, commissions and advisory boards such as personnel boards which provide opportunities for broader participation in the life and governance of the church and for greater initiative on the part of bishops.
One of the more recent consultative bodies established now in every U.S. diocese and eparchy is the diocesan/eparchial review board. Required by the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons," the review board has become a crucial consultative structure for the input of the lay faithful.
Legislated by the USCCB as a means for holding bishops accountable, it is perhaps a positive development to emerge from the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The review board functions as a "confidential consultative body" to the diocesan bishop/eparch, advising him on matters related to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons.(7)
Though the functions of the review board are enumerated in the charter and essential norms, the day-to-day operation of these bodies varies from diocese to diocese and from eparchy to eparchy. Questions arise regarding the precise nature of the board, its canonical relationship to the diocesan bishop, and its scope of authority and responsibility. It will be important for the effectiveness of these boards that resources are provided to assist bishops and members in understanding their respective roles in order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion, which could lead to miscarriages of justice.
One of the less mentioned and perhaps more important opportunities for dialogue between a diocesan bishop and the faithful occurs during the parish pastoral visit or the parish visitation, as it is sometimes called. The diocesan bishop, as pastor of the local church, is required by church law to visit his diocese annually in such a way that he visits the entire diocese every five years (Canon 396.1). If he is impeded from doing this himself, the code permits others to carry out this responsibility such as the coadjutor, auxiliary bishop or vicar general.
The primary purpose of the parish visitation is to enable the bishop, as "teacher of faith and morals, chief priest and shepherd of the flock entrusted to him,"(8) to meet with the people of the parish, the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful.(9)
"The Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops" describes the many opportunities available to the bishop during the visitation: meetings with the pastoral staff, the parish council and exchanges with the "laity who ask to speak with the bishop about their spiritual life or about the welfare of the parish."(10) It would seem that parish pastoral visits could become effective instruments for meaningful dialogue between bishop and people during which the bishop would seek the opinion of members of the faithful on matters of importance to the diocese and the parish and in which both bishop and faithful would listen to one another.
The clergy sexual abuse crisis has indeed highlighted the need for increased participation of the faithful in the governance of the church. For example, bishops sometimes lack expertise in the knowledge of the dynamics of addictive behavior. In that regard as in other ways, the crisis revealed the chasm that already existed within the church.
If our diocesan and parish structures for participation are to realize their potential as effective instruments of ecclesial communion, we must become more fully a "participatory church where the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to all the faithful - lay, religious and clergy alike - are recognized and activated, so that the church may be built up and its mission realized."(11)
Call for Increased Episcopal Accountability
An issue closely related to participation of the faithful in the governance of the church is episcopal accountability. The clergy sexual abuse crisis did not create the need for episcopal accountability; rather, it heightened the importance of it and increased the call for it. In the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" (revised), the U.S. bishops acknowledged the need for accountability and pledged themselves to "act in a way that manifests [their] accountability to God, to his people and to one another in this grave matter."(12) Following their November 2002 plenary meeting in Washington, the bishops issued a "Statement of Episcopal Commitment" in which they reaffirmed this commitment grounded in their "episcopal communion and fraternal solidarity, a moral responsibility we have with and for each other."(13)
The bishops' statements suggest a basis both in ecclesiology and in canon law for episcopal accountability in the life of the church.(14) The obligation of bishops to maintain communion with the entire church (communio fidelium) and, more specifically, with the college of bishops and its head (communio hierarchica), is required by Canon 375.2 for the exercise of their office. The bishop's authority is not absolute. It is exercised according to the norm of law and in communion with his fellow bishops and with the people of God.(15) The canonical application of episcopal accountability, then, implies the existence of specific means for implementing such accountability.(16)
In the exercise of episcopal governance one of the key mechanisms for accountability is found in the effective use of many of the diocesan structures that already exist. For example, the presbyteral council should ask the diocesan bishop to render an account of pastoral initiatives to ensure the safety and protection of children, the application of policies for priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, and the work of the diocesan review board. The finance council should ask the bishop to report on the liability of the diocese from clergy sexual abuse cases, the number and amount of settlements, and other financial matters. The diocesan pastoral council should seek information regarding the implementation of diocesan policies on sexual abuse and the protection of children.
It is in these arenas that the interaction between bishop and the faithful can be structured in such a way that bishops and the faithful share responsibility and accountability for the life of the diocese. Whether it concerns clerical sexual abuse, temporalities or parish closings, sharing responsibility and accountability for the ministry of governance is a manifestation of the ecclesial communion that is the church.
For these structures and processes to become effective instruments of accountability, the bishop must take them seriously and value their importance to the governance of the diocese. Such a vision of accountability involves a balancing of interests and perspectives.(17) As a response to Pope John Paul's call for "creating better structures for participation, consultation and shared responsibility,"(18) perhaps our first need today is a recommitment on the part of both bishops and the faithful to making the structures we have in place work more creatively and effectively as mechanisms for sharing responsibility and assuring accountability. Then our attention can be directed toward creating new structures as needed.
There is little doubt that the clergy sexual abuse crisis raised the importance of accountability in the church to new levels. As a result of this heightened awareness, it is crucial that the process for the selection and appointment of bishops and other church leaders (including pastors) gives significant consideration to a candidate's understanding of and attitude toward accountability and its relationship to shared responsibility.
Perhaps there will never be a perfect system for the selection of bishops, but the current system might be improved with increased attention to a candidate's ability and willingness to be accountable within the ecclesial communion and to a more intentional and broader use of the provision in Canon 377.3 permitting consultation by the apostolic nuncio with knowledgeable clergy and laity in the selection of candidates for the episcopacy. Similar procedures should be developed for consultation with the faithful of a parish in the appointment of their pastor.
Role/Authority of Episcopal Conference and Its Relations to the Holy See
A third topic highlighted by the clergy sexual abuse crisis is the role and authority of the episcopal conference and its relationship to the Holy See, a canonical relationship that has at times been misunderstood and in need of clarification.
The involvement of the U.S. bishops' conference in addressing issues of sexual abuse by priests was not new in 2002. It dates back to the mid-1980s, continued throughout the 1990s and at various stages involved discussions with and decisions by the Holy See. Most of these discussions revolved around the development of processes and procedures leading to an equitable solution for the canonical separation from the clerical state of priests guilty of sexually abusing minors in the past and who present a danger to children in the future.(19)
The U.S. bishops and representatives of the Holy See were in dialogue for many years on how best to handle these cases. Following the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the options for dealing with such grave cases were voluntary petition by the priest in question for laicization or penal dismissal from the clerical state by means of the judicial process. The bishops were of the opinion that the judicial process was too cumbersome.
In lieu of the judicial penal process, the bishops sought an administrative process of dismissal from the clerical state from the Holy See. During the discussions between the Holy See and the U.S. officials, the U.S. bishops' goal was a streamlined decision-making process placed more fully in the hands of the diocesan bishop.(20) The bishops viewed the situations involving clergy sexual abuse as pastorally devastating and requiring immediate response and decisive action.
All agreed. But what the bishops wanted was not only a streamlined procedure but a decision-making process in which the diocesan bishop himself would dismiss the priest based on pastoral necessity rather than as a penalty, that is, the criteria for removal would be not only the redress of a past harm but primarily the protection of children in the future.
For canon lawyers, however, an administrative process in which the diocesan bishop imposed dismissal from the clerical state in a nonjudicial manner still required due process protections for the priest.
While discussions of an administrative process were taking place between conference officials and the Holy See on one track, the bishops' discussions in plenary assembly began to take place in public rather than only behind closed doors in executive session.
In June 1992 the bishops adopted principles of action which recommended that U.S. dioceses respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is reasonable belief that abuse has occurred; if such an allegation is supported by sufficient evidence, relieve the alleged offender promptly of his ministerial duties and refer him for appropriate medical evaluation and intervention; comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting of the incident and cooperating with the investigation; reach out to the victims and their families and communicate sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being; and within the confines of respect for privacy of the individuals involved, deal as openly as possible with the members of the community.(21)
These principles were not binding on the bishops. The episcopal conference is not a governing body with the power to enact regulations binding its members except where universal law requires it or where a special mandate of the Holy See has permitted it motu proprio or at the request of the conference (Canon 455). Nonetheless, most dioceses accepted the guidance offered by the conference and drafted their own written policies.
At that time the bishops publicly committed their pastoral energy to attempting to break the cycle of abuse. The conference established the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse which was to provide additional organized resources to assist the dioceses and help the bishops understand the scope of the problem for the sake of the victims, priests and people.
Further discussions between representatives of the USCCB and the Holy See failed to reach agreement on a fully administrative or nonpenal procedure. In 1993 Pope John Paul II set up a commission of representatives from the Holy See and the USCCB to study the judicial process. The work of the joint commission resulted in the proposal of derogations of the law overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. bishops, modified and promulgated by the Holy See in 1993.(22)
The derogations included raising the age of a minor from below 16 to below 18 and extending the period of prescription, or the period in which canonical action can be taken. The instruction "Canonical Delicts Involving Sexual Misconduct and Dismissal from the Clerical State" was published by the bishops' conference to assist bishops and canonists in applying the judicial process for dismissal from the clerical state.
By the late 1990s, while most dioceses had policies that provided a smoothly functioning response to the cases that were coming forward, the remaining canonical issues were mainly ensuring that priests who were predators would not be returned to ministry and that these decisions would be upheld by the appropriate congregations in Rome. At that time, there seemed to be a lack of clarity over which Roman congregations had final authority in these matters.
Dialogue and discussion between the U.S. bishops and the Holy See had been going on for many years when news of the scandal broke in 2002. However, with claims by people that bishops were putting canon law or the reputation of the church ahead of the protection of children, it was clear that approval of a less cumbersome and speedier process for the dismissal from the clerical state of priests who had sexually abused minors had become more urgent.
A meeting of the U.S. cardinals and conference officers with curial officials was held in Rome in April 2002 to discuss the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. The proposals that resulted from the meeting became preparatory material for the subsequent June plenary assembly in Dallas.
During the Rome meeting, John Paul II gave a moving talk in which he stated, "People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young." The pope also said that in "working to establish more reliable criteria" for dealing with sex abuse cases "we cannot forget the power of Christian conversion."(23)
The report of the Rome meeting made it clear that the U.S. bishops would be responsible for developing a set of national standards which would be submitted to the respective congregations of the Holy See for canonical review (recognitio) by the Holy See. These standards would identify essential elements for policies dealing with the sexual abuse of minors in dioceses and religious institutes in the United States.
This endorsement of the USCCB by the Holy See led to the development of "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons," which contained the canonical provisions of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and which required the recognitio of the Holy See to become particular law for the dioceses and eparchies of the United States. The required recognitio was granted initially in 2002 and extended in 2006 donec aliter provideatur, or until otherwise provided.
What might we learn from this experience? Let me offer four observations.
First, amid allegations of "cover-up," disregard for victims, "special treatment" for perpetrators and protection for diocesan finances in a story so extensively covered by the media and so much a part of the public's awareness, the better approach for the bishops may well have been to hold open discussions about this matter as early as the mid-1980s and to continue its discussions in public until the public was as much aware of the bishops' commitment to dealing with the problem as they were with the original misconduct.
The "transparency" called for from all quarters of the church might have been more evident had this been the practice. (It is interesting to note that a recent national survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate found that only one-third of Catholics had heard of the bishops' efforts since 2002 to prevent sexual abuse of children, respond to abuse allegations and reach out to victims.(24))
Second, in 2002, as news of the scope of clergy sexual abuse of minors spread across the country, the importance of accountability, particularly on the part of bishops and religious superiors, was brought to the fore. The response of bishops to the scandal varied: some simply apologized for the harm that had been inflicted by the accused; others took actions to ensure the future protection of children; while others simply did not seem to understand the impact of their decisions, such as reassigning accused priests without thorough investigation of the allegation.
Bishops needed then, and continue to need today, to embrace the problem, accept their responsibility for their sometimes flawed solutions and ensure that future cases will be handled swiftly and effectively.
Third, though cited at times as a problem, canon law was not really the problem. The problem was the bishops' reluctance to utilize the then-existing provisions of canon law for removing priests from ministry. That being said, the bishops' application of the canonical procedures was hindered at times by the extraordinary and cumbersome nature of the procedures and by the fact that few canonists had experience in canonical penal law.
In an effort, however, to expedite the canonical process for the removal of priests from ministry, and as a result of collaboration and dialogue between the Holy See and the USCCB, modifications were eventually made in the universal law in an effort to facilitate the process for handling cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors.
Although the range of issues identified for today’s seminar is indeed broad, it does not include all of the contemporary concerns that remain to be addressed. For example, further clarification is needed regarding the definition of sexual abuse, for it appears that nearly all sexual transgressions by priests are being classified as sexual abuse; and increased attention needs to be given to the issues that have arisen as a result of large group settlements. The dialogue between officials of the Holy See and the USCCB must continue as bishops seek to apply procedures justly and for the sake of the common good and all parties affected by clergy sexual abuse of minors.
And finally, a genuine spirit of openness and transparency about finances, allegations, negotiations and settlements is a sine qua non for church leaders if trust is to be restored and credibility rebuilt. A spirit of accountable leadership in which bishops and the faithful share responsibility is nurtured by the effective use of forums and structures that both ensure and safeguard communion in the church (Novo Millennio Ineunte, No. 44). When church leaders
(bishops, religious superiors, pastors and lay leaders) embrace and share responsibility and accountability for the life of the diocese, the communio of the church is more fully realized.
1 U.S. Bishops, “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” (rvsd. ed.) (hereafter Charter), published in Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal (Washington, DC: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002) p. 18; also published in 32:25 Origins (Nov. 28, 2002).
2 Yves Congar, L’Eglise (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1970), pp. 56-57, cited in Robert Kaslyn, “Accountability of Diocesan Bishops: A Significant Aspect of Ecclesial Communion” The Jurist 67 (2007) p. 114.
3 John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte Jan. 6, 2001; English translation published in Origins 30:31 (Jan.
18, 2001) pp. 489-508. John Paul II also speaks of the close relationship between communion and structures of participation in the apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, Jan. 22, 1999, No.44; English translation published in 28:33 Origins (Feb. 14, 1999) pp. 565-592.
4 John Paul II, Pastores Gregis (“Shepherds of the Flock”), Oct. 16, 2003; English trans. published in Origins 33:22 (Nov. 6, 2003) pp. 353-392.
5 Richard Gaillardetz, “Ecclesiological Perspectives on Church Reform,” in Bartunek, Hinsdale & Keenan, eds. Church Ethics and Its Organizational Context: Learning from the Sex Abuse Scandal in the Church (N.Y.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), p. 66.
6 See James Provost, “Canon Law and the Role of Consultation” Origins 18:47 (May 4, 1989), p. 796.
7 See Article 2 of the charter; Norm 4 of “Essential Norms” for a listing of the functions of the diocesan/ eparchial review board.
8 Congregation for Bishops, “Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops,” Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004, Art. 170.
9 Ibid., Art. 168.
11 Gaudencio Rosales and C.G. Arevalo, eds. For All the peoples of Asia: Federation of Asian Bishops’
Conferences, Documents from 1992 to 1996, vol. 2 (Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications
1997), p. 287 quoted in Peter C. Phan, “A New Way of Being Church: Perspectives from Asia,” in Governance, Accountability, and the Future of the Catholic Church, eds. F. Oakley and B. Russett (New
York: Continuum, 2004) p. 185.
12 USCCB, Charter, pp. 411-415.
13 USCCB, “A Statement of Episcopal Commitment,”
Origins 32 (Nov. 21, 2002) p. 408.
14 See Kaslyn, pp. 109-124.
15 Kaslyn, p. 126.
16 See Kasper, p. 161; see also Kaslyn, pp. 116-117.
17 Steinfels, Peter, “Necessary But Not Sufficient,” in
Oakley and Russett, p. 28.
18 John Paul II, “Characteristics of the Bishop’s Governance,” Origins 34:16 (Sept. 30, 2004), pp. 253- 254.
19 John A. Alesandro, “Canonical Delicts Involving Sexual Misconduct and Dismissal from the Clerical State: A Background Paper,” Ius Ecclesiae 8 (1996), p. 173.
20 Ibid., p. 175.
21 The principles emerged from earlier statements in 1989 and early 1992 which also addressed the problem of clergy sexual abuse of minors. See “USCCB Efforts to Combat Clergy Sexual Abuse Against
Minors: A Chronology 1982-2006,” USCCB Web site, www.usccb.org.
22 See Alesandro, pp. 182-188.
23 John Paul II, “Address to Summit of Vatican and U.S. Church Leaders,” April 23, 2002, Origins 31:46 (May 2, 2002), p. 759.
24 Catholic News Service, May 21, 2007.