but who audits the auditors?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 11, 2007

Nearly 5 years after the US bishops devised the "Dallas Charter" to address the sex-abuse scandal, the US bishops' conference is happy to announce that the system is working. How do we know that the program is working? We know because nearly every American diocese is following the procedures mandated in the Dallas Charter. And if they're following those procedures, well then we know that things are getting better, because... um...

Well anyway, you should be happy to know that the dioceses are "in compliance" with the Dallas Charter because, as the head of the National Review Board notes, compliance is (quick, grab a deep breath)...

...the one measure of public scrutiny that assures the Catholic lay faithful that the church is taking every means possible to reach out to those who have been harmed by individuals in the service of the church and to promote the safety and well being of the children entrusted to its care.

Exactly. It's a measure of public scrutiny, you see. And now they've measured it-- measured the scrutiny, that is-- and found that 98% of all American dioceses are in compliance, so that just proves that... um...

Anyway it's edifying to see the bishops in compliance with their own policies. “Vigilance to ensure the safety of children is now a way of life,” says Bishop William Skylstad, the president of the US bishops' conference. Audits, too, are now a way of life: audits of dioceses, audits of parishes, background checks for priests, fingerprinting for parish volunteers, training for children in the proper way to report sexual encounters. The Gavin Group audits the dioceses, and the dioceses audit themselves, and by golly some parishes have developed their own internal audits. It's all quite wonderful, and it makes you wonder why a few holdout bishops fail to see the point of the whole exercise.

And things are getting much, much better. Why, last year the American dioceses spend only $398,597,694 in "allegation-related expenditures" involving sexual abuse. Why, that's not even-- quite-- $400 million!

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2010 1:18 PM ET USA

    He really does act like a man who is trying to mollify the gay friendly crowd because he's afraid they'll turn on him. And I can't imagine why THAT would be.