Skip to comments.Archbishop[Chaput]Requests Input From Faithful To Take To Dallas Meeting
Posted on 06/10/2002 3:39:39 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
Archbishop's web site Denver Catholic Register Parishes Catholic Pastoral Center
June 5, 2002
Archbishop requests input from faithful to take to Dallas meeting
U.S. bishops release drafts of sexual misconduct policies, propose national day of prayer
At 2 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on June 4, the U.S. bishops, through their Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, released three important documents.
The first is a national "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." This is the framework the bishops propose for dealing with the sexual misconduct tragedy in the Church.
The second text is "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies." These draft norms are necessary to give the proposed national charter the force of local Church law.
The third and final document is "A National Day of Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation." Proposed for Sept. 14 the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross this would be a day for national and local penitential services. In particular, the bishops ask that: "Special liturgies should be celebrated in parishes throughout each diocese. Other special opportunities for healing for victims/survivors of sexual abuse, for their families, for affected communities, and for those who may be alienated from the Church in any way and for those who seek the sacrament of reconciliation should be developed."
The drafters consulted very widely, both nationally and internationally, in developing these materials. Overall, I believe they've done a good job. Many laypersons, victim/survivors, law enforcement officials and experts in the field of sexual abuse offered their counsel and it shows. Most importantly, the U.S. bishops' conference has released these documents now to involve Catholics in the discussion before we bishops meet in Dallas.
We've posted these documents prominently on our diocesan Web site, and they're available now at www.archden.org for anyone with Internet access. Because of the strict embargo on these materials at the Register's deadline this week, we could not include them in this issue. However, they will appear in their entirety in next week's DCR.
I strongly encourage you to read them, reflect on them, and share with me any comments you think are important. The media will have plenty of opinions, pro and con, about these documents. Editorial opinions are part of their job. Many journalists have handled this story responsibly over the last few months. Others have not.
But as we approach the Dallas bishops' meeting, as much as I respect the service the media provide to the wider community, I'm not finally focused on what they think. I'm focused on what you think.
What I need most is your opinion as a member of our local Church; the opinion that has come from personally reviewing these materials. Over the last few months, I've received scores of letters and e-mails on this issue, and I've had scores of personal conversations with laypeople around the archdiocese. I trust what you think. Let me know what you think.
Finally and above all, I ask for your prayers for the victims of abuse and their families who have suffered so much; for our many good priests who bear the burden of the sins and crimes of a few; and for our bishops, including myself, who have vital work ahead of us in Dallas.
Jesus once spoke from the San Damiano cross to St. Francis of Assisi with these simple words: "Repair my Church." They're words we should all take to heart once again today.
Please direct any comments on the three USCCB documents to: Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Attention: USCCB Charter, 1300 S. Steele St., Denver, CO 80210; or by fax to 303-715-2043.
Important: Please remember to mark your comments "Attention: USCCB Charter."
Personally, I see Chaput as an enigma. He talks a good game but is inconsistent. Many here think he is the cat's meow, but I think that stems from the fact that Stafford and Casey were such big disappointments for such a long time. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say when he returns from Dallas.
1. Get away from looking at the problem as being a 'legal' one and focus on morality - start calling sins sin. Reduce being 'pastoral' and being 'afraid to offend' and think more 'fire and brimstone'.
2. Offer to give a legal release to all who signed secrecy agreements.
3. Enter no more secrecy agreements.
4. Tell those with crime complaints to see police.
5. Remind the Bishops that the one to lead, is the one to serve. Abolish trappings of office and return to humility.
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