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Milwaukee vice chancellor: US bishops’ abuse audits fail to probe compliance with tougher Vatican norms

June 28, 2010

A week after issuing an open letter denouncing the Diocese of La Crosse’s abuse policy, the vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has criticized the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual abuse audits of the nation’s dioceses as insufficient.

Father James Connell notes that since 2001, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has required bishops to notify the Congregation of all abuse allegations with “at least the semblance of the truth.” The priest argues by failing to assess whether dioceses comply with the Congregation’s norm, the audit is insufficient, allowing dioceses to adopt a higher thresholds for report allegations (such as “moral certititude”) and thus permitting priests who may have committed abuse to remain in ministry.


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