Tuesday, February 14, 2017

EVEN ALCHEMY CAN'T TURN IRON INTO GOLD

Posted by Bob

Image result for boilerplateImage result for gold standardCoadjutor Bishop Michael
Byrnes has tossed some "boilerplate" on the table and held a press conference to tell us that it was the "gold standard" on sexual abuse policy. The eighteen page document is called the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. (The prolixity of the document suggests that the scrivener was a lawyer paid by the word!)[Read it here.]


The Charter has three parts: the main body of the Charter, Essential Norms for Diocesan/ Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons and A Statement of Episcopal Commitment.

Image result for cookbookCompare the parts of the "gold standard" set out below with excerpts from the Archdiocese of Boston CHILD PROTECTION POLICY. [Read it here.] and you'll see that what CAB Byrnes tossed out is not and cannot be the sex abuse policy of this archdiocese.  The three parts of the Charter tell bishops what their policies must contain. Thus CAB Byrnes has not adopted a policy but merely the directions for what our policy must conform to if we are to follow the USCCB.  In other words, the it would take some high powered alchemy to turn the iron in Byrnes' boilerplate into gold.



Here's the "gold standard"

To Promote Healing and Reconciliation with Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors

"ARTICLE 2. Dioceses/eparchies are to have policies and procedures in place to respond promptly to any allegation where there is reason to believe that sexual abuse of a minor has occurred. Dioceses/eparchies are to have a competent person or persons to coordinate assistance for the immediate pastoral care of persons who report having been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other church personnel. The procedures for those making a complaint are to be readily available in printed form in the principal languages in which the liturgy is celebrated in the diocese/eparchy and be the subject of public announcements at least annually."
***

Essential Norms for Diocesan/ Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons

Image result for eparchyImage result for bishop byrnes"2. Each diocese/eparchy will have a written policy on the sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons, as well as by other church personnel. This policy is to comply fully with, and is to specify in more detail, the steps to be taken in implementing the requirements of canon law, particularly CIC, canons 1717-1719, and CCEO, canons 1468-1470. A copy of this policy will be filed with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops within three months of the effective date of these norms. Copies of any eventual revisions of the written diocesan/eparchial policy are also to be filed with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops within three months of such modifications."
[Read the entire "gold standard", i.e. the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People here .]

_________________________________________________________________

SECTION 5 Civil Reporting Requirements [Boston]

Image result for boston5.1 Who Must Report? Any Archdiocesan personnel, including those who do not work or volunteer with children, who has reason to believe or suspects that any child has been the victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault or neglect shall make a report to the appropriate civil authorities, identified in Sec. 5.3, and to the appropriate Archdiocesan authorities, identified in Sec. 6. The sole exception is that ordained priests shall not report any information subject to the priest-penitent privilege.
***
5.2 What Must be Reported? 
***
Image result for you don't know beans till you've been to boston5.3 To Whom Should Reports be Made? Reports of abuse or neglect alleged to have occurred in Massachusetts shall be reported to the local law enforcement agency and/or the local Department of Children and Families depending on the circumstances presented. This reporting is in addition to internal Archdiocesan reporting requirements (see Section 6). Contact information for the appropriate authorities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and each county within in the Archdiocese can be found in Appendix A. 
***
5.4 What Specific Information Should be Reported? 5.5 et seq. ***

[Read the entire Archdiocese of Boston CHILD PROTECTION POLICY here.]
_________________________________________________________________

When CAB Byrnes does get around to drafting our sex abuse policy item 2. of A Statement of Episcopal Commitment deserves special mention:

Image result for bishop tomas camachoImage result for bishop tomas camacho"2. We will apply the requirements of the Charter also to ourselves, respecting always Church law as it applies to bishops. Therefore, if a bishop is accused of the sexual abuse of a minor, the accused bishop is obliged to inform the Apostolic Nuncio. If another bishop becomes aware of the sexual abuse of a minor by another bishop or of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor by a bishop, he too is obliged to inform the Apostolic Nuncio and comply with applicable civil laws."   That bears repeating:

Image result for reportIf another bishop becomes aware of the sexual abuse of a minor by another bishop or of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor by a bishop, he too is obliged to inform the Apostolic Nuncio and comply with applicable civil laws."  



13 comments:

  1. If another bishop becomes aware of the sexual abuse of a minor by another bishop or of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor by a bishop, he too is obliged to inform the Apostolic Nuncio and comply with applicable civil laws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did CAB Byrnes report AB Camacho to the nuncio? If not, why not?

      Delete
  2. You have no idea how catastrophic 18 years of Boston abuse coverups under Cardinal Bernard Law were. They nearly sank the entire US Catholic Church. Coverup scandals spread to the heavily Catholic northeastern states and definitely killed the Church there.

    Boston Mass attendance has dropped to less than 12% and Mass goers there are mainly aging seniors. The palatial Archbishop's Mansion was sold to Jesuit Boston College for over $100 million to help with massive abuse settlements.

    Meanwhile, arrogant Archcriminal Bernie Law is living like a medieval prince in Rome's largest palazzo. A retirement reward from Pope Francis who claims to abhor luxury-loving priests! Law should have been deported to Boston long ago and laicized for civil prosecution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boston's problem are common knowledge. But Boston finally enacted a sex abuse policy. We haven't. CAB Byrnes would have us believe that he has baked a delicious cake; all he has done is show us the cookbook. Maybe it's because he doesn't take sides.

      Delete
  3. Byrnes won't do anything that could jeopardize his career. He's just a useless figurehead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Not taking sides" is not a career enhancer.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it is 10:18. Skillful compromises and playing both ends for the middle are what turn bank and multinational corporation executives into multi-billionaires. Anyone who has worked in major financial management will tell you that.

      Delete
  4. If Byrnes only listens to his select group of priests and oes not read the Jungle Watch blog to get an idea of what the concerned Laity of Guam are feeling or talking about, he will soon be likened to the "emperor who wears no clothes."

    ReplyDelete
  5. 8:53 AM you're absolutely right!

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  6. Byrnes should take a cue from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, California and pay off some of his bills asap. If he waits until $55 million+ in abuse settlements are awarded and lawyers from both sides have to be paid, his archdiocese will die on the spot. Liability insurance carriers have been notoriously uncooperative in many of these cases.

    A couple of years ago, St. Patrick's in Menlo Park sold a large parcel of seminary land to a real estate developer for an undisclosed amount. It must have been a ton of money because luxury-class houses to be built on the former seminary property will start at $2 million each.




    ReplyDelete
  7. Perhaps Byrnes is waiting for the lawsuits to be worth $100 million or more, then he won't have to take sides at all, instead he will be forced OUTSIDE the archdiocese for inaction.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 11:03 AM makes a good point.

    ReplyDelete

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