WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops will vote on revisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People at their meeting in Seattle, June 15-17.
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 proposed revisions would 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.
The Spring General Assembly of U.S. bishops will be held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel in Seattle. The meeting will begin with Mass at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15.
The bishops also will debate and vote on a document on physician assisted suicide called “To Live Each Day With Dignity.” The agenda also includes a presentation on the Defense of Marriage efforts of the USCCB, including a Spanish-language video, and a report by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington on Anglicanorum coetibus, the Vatican guideline for allowing communities of Anglicans to enter into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. The bishops also will vote on two liturgical items pertaining to the Spanish translation of the USA Propers and Adaptations to the Roman Missal, Third Edition, and the inclusion of a collection of Mass prayers for major patronal feasts from Spanish-speaking countries.
Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be Wednesday, June 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time and Thursday, June 16, until 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. There will be media conferences after all open sessions. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form at www.usccb.org/comm/credentialform.pdfand submit it by June 3, by fax to (202) 541-3173, or mail to:
June Meeting Credentials
Office of Media Relations
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
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, Anglicans
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