Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Bishop Lori of Bridgeport emerges as a spokesman in behalf of the norms

This week at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual meeting, Lori has said the pledges in Dallas remain strong among all the bishops. He said that despite ambiguous language in certain sections of the revised policy, U.S. bishops will interpret the language to leave very little discretion for behavior.For instance, the revised policy states that bishops "shall" ask the Vatican to suspend the statute of limitations when they believe a credible allegation has surfaced after the statute deadline.

Lori said "shall" means "must."

In other cases, too, Lori is adamant that the revised policy can be both acceptable to the Vatican, where bishops' discretion is paramount, and to a public that wants more accountability.Lori has been asked from every angle if the new policy allows bishops to get around some of the stringent demands of the Dallas policy. Each time he answers that it does not. Lori said any bishop failing to adhere to the pledge made in Dallas will face consequences and public outrage. "I would not want to be that bishop," Lori said.

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