WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People at its Spring General Assembly in Seattle on June 16. The revisions passed with 187 bishops voting in favor, 5 bishops opposed and 4 abstaining.
The Charter was adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by clerics. It was revised previously in 2005.
The revisions bring the Charter into line with the most recent Vatican instructions in this area, including specifically mentioning child pornography as a crime against church law and holding that abuse of someone who habitually lacks reason, for example, someone with mental retardation, is equivalent to child abuse.
The Charter guides the handling of allegations of abuse and is accompanied by the Essential Norms, Vatican-approved norms for the United States.
Keywords: Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, child pornography, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S. Bishops, Essential Norms, assisted suicide
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