Local Bishop Tries to Solve Church Sex Policy

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

A local Bishop will accompany three other American priests to Rome Thursday to try and resolve the differences the Vatican has with the churches sex abuse policy.

Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran says that the church must overcome the conflict their zero tolerance policy has with the American judicial system before the Vatican will ever approve a policy. This is a task the bishop says they will give their best attempt to resolve.

Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran was notified earlier today that he will join three other American priests on a commission to try and resolve the churches zero tolerance policy that was rejected by the Vatican last week.

"I think we need to take into account everybody's position in this, the victims and the accused, said Bishop Thomas Doran, Head of the Rockford Diocese.

Bishop Doran was chosen for this position he believes because he worked in Rome on the Vatican’s highest court for eight years. He will have to resolve a conflict with the American judicial system most Americans don't see a conflict with.

"I think they should be held accountable like everybody else is. I don't see why they should be looked at any differently, said one Rockford man.

"I don't think it should be different. Maybe like the military where they have their own laws, but still accountable to ours

One of the biggest hurdles the Bishop says the commission will have to overcome is the churches relatively subtle approach to alleged abuse compared to the American civil laws rush to judgment.

"People (Priests) that are guilty of these crimes, can they be retained in the ministries, can they be retained in this priesthood? These are questions that are viewed differently by civil law and canon law. This is the conflict we must resolve.

Now no timetable has been set to present a new revised sexual abuse policy to the Vatican, but the Bishop Dorn hopes that progress can be made before mid-November when a Conference of Catholic Bishops are scheduled to meet in Washington.


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