“Causes of the uptick may be many: steadfastness, action in a crisis, and the bishops’ courage to walk forth when they probably would have preferred to hide in a hole. Steadfastness in troubled times means serious leadership” – Sister Mary Ann Walsh
U.S. Catholics’ Satisfaction with Bishops Up to 70 Percent
By Sister Mary Ann Walsh, USCCB Blog, Friday, August 10, 2012
U.S. Catholics’ satisfaction with bishops leaped from 51 to 70 percent in the last decade, according to the Pew Forum. That’s impressive, though it is hard to imagine a lower point than 2002, when Catholics saw a flood of news on clerical sexual abuse of minors. To copy Queen Elizabeth’s description of 1992, when one of her sons divorced and Windsor Castle erupted in flames, 2002 was the church’s Annus Horribilis.
Causes of the uptick may be many: steadfastness, action in a crisis, and the bishops’ courage to walk forth when they probably would have preferred to hide in a hole. Steadfastness in troubled times means serious leadership
The Pew Forum measured current satisfaction with bishops against feelings a decade ago when the bishops faced the fact that sexual abuse of minors by clergy was a horrific reality in the church. The news had been simmering but broke out big time in Boston in January 2002. Six months later a few thousand media showed up at the bishops’ June meeting in Dallas to see how the bishops would fix the problem.
To their credit, the bishops acted. They developed the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a 17-article promise to forthrightly confront child sexual abuse. They set up review boards comprised primarily of lay people to evaluate reported cases. They launched a massive educational campaign for professional staff and volunteers who work with minors and educated the minors themselves on appropriate interaction between themselves and adults. They established a compliance audit system for the Charter.
Photo: The REW Forum.Org