charter for the protection of children and young people

10 Years After Catholic Sex Abuse Reforms, What’s Changed?

RNS file photo by Matt Rourke

.S. Catholic bishops met in Dallas in 2002 to hammer out a set of reforms. RNS file photo by Matt Rourke

When the nation’s Catholic bishops gather in Atlanta next week (June 13-15) for their annual spring meeting, a top agenda item will be assessing the reforms they adopted 10 years ago as revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests consumed the church.

The policy package they approved at that 2002 meeting in Dallas was known as the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, or the Dallas charter, for short. With it, the bishops vowed to finally put an end to the abuse and secrecy. They also pledged to help raise awareness about the plague of child abuse in society.

But is anything different – in the church or in the country — 10 years later? Here’s a look at what has changed, and what has not.

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