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Vatican rejects parts of US Bishops' abuse policy


The Vatican yesterday rejected some elements of the US Catholic Church's new sex abuse policy and cautioned the American bishops from going ahead with them.

In particular, the Vatican expressed concern over the proposed policy that would violate the individual rights of accused priests now protected under universal church law, sources said.

The response will be made public today, a day after top American bishops met with Pope John Paul II to discuss the scandal that has rocked the American Church.

All along, Vatican officials and US church lawyers have raised objections to the proposals, arguing that they may violate the due process rights of priests.

However, Vatican officials and top US churchmen had said they expected the Vatican would go along anyway, on a trial basis.

The sources stressed that the entire plan has not been rejected, and that it could be a work in progress to satisfy the various objections.

Nevertheless, the Vatican is recommending the bishops be cautious in implementing the more controversial sections of the policy.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say what various elements that the Vatican opposed. But they made it clear they dealt with provisions regarding the rights of priests under universal church law.

SOURCE
AP

LINKS
Pope meets with US church leaders before Vatican responds to norms (Catholic News Service)
Vatican Won't Bless US Bishops' Pedophilia Plan (Reuters)


BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE TOLD TO GIVE UP FILES ON SEX CASE PRIESTS

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston must turn over more than 50 years' worth of church records, files that contain all "credible claims" of sexual misconduct by priests, after a state judge rejected the church's attempt to keep the records secret.

The decision came after lawyers for alleged victims of one priest, Paul Shanley, sought access to documents showing how the archdiocese handled claims against about 87 other priests, 15 of whom are now dead.

Shanley, 71, once known for his street ministry to troubled youths, has pleaded not guilty to charges of child rape.

J. Owen Todd, a Boston lawyer representing the archdiocese, said that the appeals court judge, Kenneth Laurence, had suggested in his order that some documents could be deemed privileged under rules governing civil cases in state court.

SOURCE
Boston Globe/Guardian



18 Oct 2002