The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convene in Atlanta this week and child sex abuse by priests will be high on its agenda. In advance of the gathering, David Gibson of the Religion News Service has examined what has and hasn't changed in the 10 years since the conference adopted its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Among the developments Gibson listed: increasing recognition of child abuse within other religious communities outside of the Catholic church; and that through training the number of "new" abuse allegations has declined.
In a companion analysis, Gibson writes "the 800-pound gorilla in the chancery remains a lack of accountability for the bishops themselves" in the scandal.
"Even 10 years later, concerns remain that a lack of bishops' accountability undermines the church’s credibility with the public or, worse, leaves children at risk,"
Gibson gives examples of bishops involved in sex abuse scandals who have either remained in their positions or, worse, been promoted. One of the cases mentioned is in Philadelphia where, Gibson reports in a separate analysis, Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit in 2015.