Top US bishop assesses abuse scandal morale cost

The Autumn meeting of the US bishops' Conference, opened in Washington yesterday, with a declaration by Conference President Bishop William Skylstad that, despite the clergy sex abuse scandals of recent years, he finds a "high level of morale" among the American clergy.

CLICK HERECatholic World News reports that Skylstad also said that "the Catholic people appreciate their priests," despite the scandals plaguing the Church in recent years. But he conceded that consequences of the sex-abuse crisis "have taken a toll."

The USCCB president devoted most of his address to the question of priestly morale, saying that the Catholic community - including bishops, priests, and laity - must support the clergy in their ministry. He reported that during the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, he was frequently questioned by bishops from other countries about the morale of American priests in the face of the crisis.

Bishop Skylstad's presidential address opened a meeting during which the US bishops will spend much of their time in closed-door discussions.

US priests' morale high, conference president says (Catholic World News 14/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
US Conference of Catholic Bishops | Restoring Trust: Response to Clergy Sexual Abuse

Bishop William Skylstad (President): Supporting the Priesthood, God's Gift to His Eucharistic Community (US Conference of Catholic Bishops 14/11/05)
John L. Allen: The Vatican's new American ambassador (National Catholic Reporter 11/11/05)
Faith holds firm despite ferns (Belfast Telegraph 14/11/05)

15 Nov 2005