VATICAN CITY — The unprecedented meeting in Rome on clerical sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has drawn participants from around the world. But there is one country with a particularly large stake in what happens at the Vatican this week.
The clergy sex abuse crisis has engulfed the American Catholic Church for months, as leaders contend with growing state and federal investigations, and ordinary Catholics grow weary of waiting for the Vatican to finally resolve the crisis.
The yearning for a response from Pope Francis yielded on Friday a first step to holding bishops accountable for abuse in their dioceses. And it was an American — Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago — who presented the proposal. But survivors and law enforcement officials say they doubt that the church’s response so far matches the magnitude of the crisis sweeping the United States.
“Now all they are going to do is set guidelines again?” Mark Belenchia, 63, an abuse survivor and activist in Jackson, Miss., asked on Friday. “That is gibberish as far as I am concerned.”
Cardinal Cupich, who presented the proposal for increased bishop accountability, told his colleagues at the conference that the faithful had a right to doubt the church when abuse was “covered up” to protect the abuser or the institution.
“This is the source of the growing mistrust in our leadership, not to mention the outrage of our people,” he said, urging bishops to listen to victims and to provide “just accountability for these massive failures.” A key step, he suggested, was responding to the frustrations of infuriated laity sitting in their pews.
The proposal Friday was perhaps the most significant acknowledgment yet from the Vatican’s inner sanctum that the existing system for holding its own leaders accountable for the abuse crisis needed to be improved. Cardinal Cupich also said in an interview that the primary objective of the conference was not procedural, but to change the global clerical mind-set about abuse.
“You can make all the laws in the world and then put it on the shelf if there is no motivation to enact it,” he said.
Under canon law, only the pope has the authority to judge a bishop, posing a bureaucratic challenge for an institution with thousands of bishops across the world. Cardinal Cupich proposed that top Catholic clerics in each country, assisted by lay people, be given the power to investigate accusations of misconduct against the top of their local church hierarchies, instead of waiting for Rome to “come up with all the answers.”
This framework is the clearest idea yet of how the Catholic Church globally might decide to hold its highest clerics accountable for misconduct. But there was no guarantee that Rome would codify the proposals, or that bishops worldwide would enact them.
Cardinal Cupich said that he hoped the top leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops would consider this proposal next month, so that it could be fine-tuned and ultimately approved in June when the American bishops are scheduled to meet.
“This will set us on a trajectory to get this work done,” he said. “If we are ready to move forward, I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t advance that timeline.”
But at a moment when the credibility of the Catholic Church in the United States is on the line, this latest proposal may not be groundbreaking enough to assuage the growing outrage.
The cascade of state investigations across the United States has recently appeared to outpace the church’s own internal response. Fifteen states’ attorneys general have opened investigations into the Catholic Church since the explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report last summer.
The church is “incapable of policing itself,” and so it should rely on investigations like the grand jury report as it considers reforms, Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania said in a phone interview Thursday evening.
“Law enforcement at the state and federal level is going to step up to do our part to keep children safe,” he said. “Regardless of what comes out of this summit at the Vatican, that important work will continue.”
It is rare that an international religious summit garners such intense scrutiny from the law enforcement community in the United States. But it is a sign of the opposition the Catholic Church continues to face.
“It has to be policies and procedures that regular people can understand,” said Lisa Madigan, the former attorney general of Illinois, who issued a preliminary report in December into how the state’s dioceses had handled claims of abuse.
The attorney general of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal, who has issued subpoenas to force dioceses to release documents, said he was heartened that the Vatican wanted to move toward transparency and that bishops were hearing directly from survivors this week. But he said the Catholic Church in the United States should have standards similar to law enforcement.
“We wouldn’t be at this point in the conversation with the church if it weren’t for state attorneys general making this push for accountability,” Mr. Grewal said. “We are doing things that the church should have done long ago.”
This week in Rome, several groups of American survivors and advocates turned not just to church officials, but to the United States ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, to press their case. Ms. Gingrich issued a statement on Friday saying that the United States supported Pope Francis’ efforts “to act decisively.”
Survivors continue to raise concerns. Paul Petersen, 61, an abuse survivor and activist in Dallas, Tex., said new guidelines for responding to abuse claims on the diocese level, and for removing bishops who were negligent in these cases, would not be sufficient.
“The only way to respond to this is through the civil authorities, the same way you would with a schoolteacher or a day care worker,” Mr. Petersen, who now identifies as a Baptist, said in a phone interview on Friday.
Bob Hoatson, 67, a former Christian Brother and priest who left the Archdiocese of Newark in 2011, said total transparency was paramount.
“How many cases are they working on in Rome to defrock priests, how many bishops have they received complaints about who are either pedophiles or covering up abuse?” he asked. “Release all the files and documents they have on this.”
The culture regarding secrecy, and who controls the narrative, has also changed more swiftly in the United States than in the Catholic Church hierarchy across the world. The #MeToo movement has made it increasingly impossible for American religious institutions and their leaders to conceal misconduct, or for women to be excluded from conversations about sexual misconduct.
Many everyday Catholics, tired of waiting on their leaders to act, want to play a larger role in finding a solution to the crisis.
A group of seven women from across the United States flew to Rome to be present outside the conference, to stress the urgent need for a solution, and to remind bishops that they should listen to more women in their deliberations.
“The Catholic Church is the people, it is not the hierarchy,” said Maria Bergh, 30, from Chicago. “There’s been a mind-set that Catholics are children looking to fathers. But we are all adults.”
On Friday morning, the women stood at the edge of St. Peter’s Square in bright yellow shirts that said, “Speaking Truth to Power.” Earlier, Roman police had demanded that they disperse for protesting without an official permit, even though they carried no signs.
“The pews of the Catholic Church are emptying rapidly,” said Mary Beth Appel, from Philadelphia. “They will be more empty if there is no change.”B:
【生】【活】【永】【远】【不】【要】【忽】【视】【了】【身】【边】【关】【心】【我】【们】【的】【人】，【总】【有】【一】【天】，【会】【意】【识】【到】【在】【我】【摸】【忙】【着】【收】【集】【鹅】【卵】【石】【时】，【却】【丢】【失】【了】【一】【颗】【昂】【贵】【的】【钻】【石】。 【她】【觉】【得】【她】【的】【人】【生】【中】，【宁】【静】【就】【是】【那】【颗】【昂】【贵】【的】【砖】【石】，【现】【在】【丢】【了】，【她】【要】【去】【找】【回】【来】。 “【快】【点】【穿】【好】【衣】【服】【和】【我】【出】【门】，【我】【限】【定】【你】【在】【五】【分】【钟】【之】【类】【完】【成】【我】【要】【求】【你】【做】【的】【事】。” 【夏】【青】【命】【令】【的】【口】【吻】【对】【真】【在】【沙】【发】【上】【躺】
“【筑】【基】【三】【阶】，【果】【然】【什】【么】【都】【瞒】【不】【过】【楚】【少】【爷】【啊】……”【秦】【问】【天】【听】【到】【楚】【沐】【年】【的】【问】【题】，【笑】【得】【很】【肆】【意】，【跟】【之】【前】【在】【外】【面】【初】【见】【的】【样】【子】【完】【全】【不】【一】【样】，【简】【直】【是】【两】【个】【人】，【连】【池】【炎】【都】【被】【吓】【到】【了】。 “【楚】【少】【爷】【应】【该】【有】【布】【结】【界】【了】【吧】，【那】【我】【也】【不】【装】【下】【去】，【快】【累】【死】【小】【爷】【了】。”【说】【完】【还】【翘】【起】【了】【二】【郎】【腿】，【简】【直】【就】【是】【个】【混】【混】【模】【样】。 “【你】【的】【意】【思】【是】【有】【人】【在】【监】【视】【我】
【柳】【苏】【是】【一】【名】【散】【修】，【实】【力】【一】【般】【刚】【刚】【突】【破】【到】【练】【气】【中】【期】，【平】【时】【靠】【着】【自】【己】【的】【实】【力】【补】【贴】【家】【用】，【今】【天】【因】【为】【庙】【会】，【所】【以】【他】【带】【着】【自】【己】【的】【妹】【妹】【刘】【卿】【准】【备】【来】【吃】【一】【顿】【好】【的】。 【可】【是】【他】【没】【有】【想】【到】【刚】【进】【来】【没】【多】【久】，【就】【见】【到】【在】【剑】【州】【这】【片】【地】【方】【臭】【名】【远】【扬】【的】【孙】【翔】【宇】【也】【走】【了】【进】【来】！ 【这】【个】【时】【候】【要】【是】【直】【接】【走】【反】【而】【可】【能】【更】【显】【眼】，【柳】【苏】【只】【能】【让】【自】【己】【长】【的】【还】【算】【可】【以】【的】布衣3d图库123456【严】【则】【守】【冷】【勾】【起】【唇】，“【如】【果】**【轩】【对】【路】【心】【悦】【下】【手】，【搞】【出】【这】【样】【的】【事】【情】，【你】【会】【怎】【么】【对】【付】【他】？” 【王】【景】【盛】【摇】【头】，【一】【字】【一】【顿】【地】【说】，“【路】【心】【悦】【不】【会】【入】【这】【个】【局】。【你】【女】【人】【会】【入】【这】【个】【局】，【必】【然】【早】【就】【背】【叛】【你】【了】。” 【严】【则】【守】【没】【什】【么】【表】【情】，【然】【后】【缓】【缓】【笑】【起】【来】，“【你】【以】【为】【我】【会】【相】【信】。” “【我】【不】【讲】【您】【也】【会】【相】【信】。” 【王】【景】【盛】【眸】【色】【浅】【淡】，“【我】
【顾】【琇】【莹】【以】【雷】【霆】【手】【段】【刚】【震】【慑】【住】【许】【桂】【兰】，【又】【借】【着】【穆】【其】【琛】【递】【过】【来】【的】【台】【阶】【下】【了】【正】【准】【备】【要】【谈】【点】【正】【事】，【结】【果】【就】【又】【出】【了】【意】【外】。 “【怎】【么】【了】【莹】【莹】？”【到】【底】【眼】【下】【场】【合】【不】【对】，【穆】【其】【琛】【就】【算】【宣】【告】【了】【顾】【琇】【莹】【是】【他】【的】【未】【婚】【妻】，【展】【示】【了】【他】【对】【顾】【琇】【莹】【的】【所】【有】【权】，【他】【也】【不】【能】【对】【顾】【琇】【莹】【又】【是】【牵】【又】【是】【抱】【的】，【那】【样】【别】【人】【该】【如】【何】【看】【待】【顾】【琇】【莹】。 【虽】【说】【不】【管】【是】【他】【还】【是】
**【箐】【表】【现】【太】【明】【显】【了】，【站】【在】【院】【落】【中】【央】，【不】【坐】【也】【不】【走】，【付】【长】【渊】【都】【已】【经】【吃】【完】【一】【碗】【饭】【了】【都】【不】【准】【备】【招】【呼】**【箐】。 【看】【着】【两】【个】【人】【感】【情】【不】【是】【很】【好】。 【组】【内】【的】【人】【都】【不】【是】【什】【么】【重】【量】【级】【别】【的】，【自】【问】【看】【到】【了】【豪】【门】【秘】【密】，【一】【个】【个】【都】【静】【悄】【悄】【的】【不】【敢】【吭】【声】。 【气】【氛】【越】【来】【越】【静】【谧】，【凸】【显】【的】**【箐】【尴】【尬】【和】【格】【格】【不】【入】。 “【长】【渊】，【我】【还】【没】【有】【吃】【东】【西】”