2006 CCCB Plenary Assembly: Bishops of Canada Discuss Question of Sexual Abuse

Thursday, October 19 2006

CCCB – Cornwall… The Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has referred the question of sexual abuse to its Permanent Council. Scheduled to meet next month, sexual abuse will be a priority for the Council, which is the CCCB major decision-making body between Plenaries.


Archbishop André Gaumond, President of the CCCB, noted that “dioceses already have measures in place to assist individuals in making a complaint and also to assist in cooperating with legal authorities. Recent cases in various Canadian dioceses demonstrate that the mechanisms which are in place work well. A person accused of sexual abuse is immediately placed on administrative leave, and the authorities receive full collaboration in their inquiry. The question now is whether more can be done to prevent sexual abuse.”


The protection of the public, particularly children, is foremost in the reflections of the Bishops. Archbishop Gaumond said that while solutions may seem simple, implementing them can be much more complex. “The structure of our Church, which differs from most other Christian Churches, means each diocese is autonomous and self-governing. If the measures in place are not national because of this diocesan autonomy, one thing remains clear and certain: all the dioceses are taking this matter most seriously. Decisions in this area cannot be made lightly. The question is of fundamental importance for us as pastors and for the communities we serve”, the CCCB President said on the last day of the 2006 Plenary.




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