False Allegations are Rare – And Real

Sometimes clergy are falsely accused. Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the duty to assess the credibility of an abuse claim, and sometimes the difficulties in doing so.

“Perhaps the stickiest cases are the truly ambiguous ones. What happens to a priest who, having been ‘credibly accused,’ is acquitted? Or a priest who has been credibly accused, but for one reason or another, can’t be brought to trial? What happens when the bishop has to decide – not relying on the judgment of a court or tribunal – about the fitness of one of his own priests? Does the bishop return him to ministry? Does he keep him in pastoral limbo indefinitely?”

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