Vatican Tells Bishops Not To Vote On Proposals To Tackle Child Sex Abuse Crisis

The Vatican has blocked a plan by Catholic leaders in America to confront child sexual abuse.

In a directive issued on Monday, the Vatican told US bishops to hold off voting on measures that were supposed to address the child sex abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org  a group that compiles data on clergy abuse, called the last-minute order from the Vatican “truly incredible”  adding that “What we see here is the Vatican again trying to suppress even modest progress by the U.S. bishops”

Life Site reports: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo informed the bishops of the request at the opening of the USCCB Fall General Assembly Monday in Baltimore. The meeting has been highly anticipated with the bishops’ plan to address the latest developments in the sex abuse scandal as a full body for the first time since the early days of the crisis in 2002.

“At the insistence of the Holy See we will not be voting on the two actions items in our documentation regarding the abuse crisis,” DiNardo said. “That is the standards of accountability for bishops and the special commission for receiving complaints against bishops.”

“The Holy See has asked that we delay voting on these so that our deliberations can inform and be informed by the global meeting of the conference presidents that the Holy Father has called for February 2019.

Pope Francis had summoned the presidents of all of the Catholic Church’s national bishops’ conferences in September to talk about the abuse crisis.

DiNardo apologized for the last minute change for the meeting, explaining that he himself only learned late Sunday of the Holy See request.

“I’m sorry for the late notice,” he said pointedly, “but in fact this was conveyed to me late yesterday afternoon.”

DiNardo as USCCB president had committed in August to the Conference addressing the abuse scandal, part of which included a request for the Vatican to intervene since bishops canonically cannot sanction or reprimand each other. After USCCB leadership’s request for an apostolic visitation was rebuffed, the Conference’s Administrative Committee released an action plan in September for investigating the Archbishop McCarrick abuse allegations and to augment bishop accountability.

News of the Vatican’s eleventh-hour curveball to the US Bishops met swiftly with negative reaction on social media from Catholics.

“The Vatican has pulled the rug out from under an already reeling episcopacy in the US with this demand that they not vote on even a toothless Code of Conduct for Bishops,” EWTN News Managing Editor Raymond Arroyo said. “Now they are starting a day of prayer. “We’ll need it!” One bishop wrote me.”