Bish­ops meet amid sex abuse scan­dals

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

As U.S. Catholic bish­ops gather for their na­tional as­sem­bly next week, the clergy sex abuse cri­sis dom­i­nates their agenda amid calls from crit­ics that church lead­ers fi­nally bring about mean­ing­ful re­forms to root out mis­be­hav­ing priests.

The three-day as­sem­bly that starts Mon­day in Bal­ti­more comes af­ter a se­ries of abuse scan­dals this year that have been stun­ning in their mag­ni­tude and num­ber.

Bish­ops have sev­eral re­forms un­der con­sid­er­a­tion to craft a stronger response to the scan­dals, but some Catholic ac­tivists are de­mand­ing fur­ther steps, in­clud­ing re­leas­ing the names of all clergy ac­cused of abuse and giv­ing a greater voice to abuse vic­tims. One coali­tion of con­cerned Catholics, the 5 The­ses move­ment, plans to post its pro­pos­als for re­form on church doors in Bal­ti­more and else­where to­day.

The abuse cri­sis is fore­most among sev­eral chal­lenges con­fronting Catholic lead­ers, who face con­flict­ing pres­sures on the role of women and LGBT peo­ple in the church.

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