European bishops take action on abuse

Good for European Catholic bishops for reaching out to victims of sexual abuse by priests and for taking steps to hold priests and the church accountable. It’s long, long overdue. Associated Press reported: “Swiss bishops urged victims to consider filing criminal complaints. German bishops opened a hotline for victims. Danish bishops launched an inquiry into decades-old claims. And Austria’s senior cleric, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, admitted church guilt as he presided over a service for victims billed as a sign of repentance. ‘Thank you for breaking your silence,’ Schoenborn told the victims. ‘A lot has been broken open. There is less looking away. But there is still a lot to do.’” Schoenborn also is creating an independent and clergy-free commission to suggest ways to strengthen church guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse. The Swiss bishops said in a statement that “it is important to us that unconditional transparency is brought to the past.”