Insert summary of Remediation here.
The first priority is to address the needs of survivors, and to ensure that we never forget.
- The Spirit Fire program in April will bring together victims with bishops and provide daylong training of victims assistance coordinators.
- Documentation and memorialization of survivor testimony.
- A full and complete investigation of sexual abuse led by an independent commission that includes the laity.
- Complete transparency by the Catholic hierarchy into all matters of criminal sexual misconduct past or future.
Proposals for Canon Law reforms will be led by the School of Canon Law. We will also benefit from collaboration with the General Counsel of the USCCB, Anthony Picarello, and the President of the Canon Law Society of America, Zabrina Decker.
- An expansion of the zero tolerance policy to include sexual activity or misconduct by clerics including bishops, and by seminarians
- Proposals for Canon Law reforms to create standards of conduct for bishops and lay review boards.
- There are other aspects of the Church’s canon law that might warrant attention as well. It was not until recently that lay people could serve on tribunals in cases involving priests. It is still not clear what role they may plan in the oversight of bishops.
Other aspects of remediation the Church will need help with are grand jury investigations and other legislatives efforts that seek to punish the Church. These efforts will be centered in the School of Canon Law and the Columbus School of Law.
- Consultation on the risks and benefits of responding to grand jury investigations, and initiating internal review to assess exposure.
- Policy papers on the threat of demands for confidential personnel records, and challenges to the seal of confession.
- The desire to punish old offenses has led to the extension or repeal of statutes of limitations. Punishing civil judgments carry the threat of bankruptcy, and the attendant oversight of dioceses by trustees.
Many Catholic institutions that circle in close orbits around the Church have begun to rethink their corporate structure.
- The recent reorganization of Catholic University is one example. The Papal Foundation is in the process of rethinking the role of the laity in its structure.
- These changes are motivated and influenced by several reasons -- the desire to take greater advantage of lay contributions, the desire to maintain close connections to the Church and the episcopacy, a concern about financial exposure resulting from interlocking relations.
- Thinking through these changes will entail the assistance of civil and canon lawyers.