U.S. Catholic bishops voted Wednesday to create a new national sex-abuse hotline run by an independent entity, a decision that represents one of the church’s most tangible steps yet in confronting its sex-abuse crisis. The hotline, which would field allegations that bishops committed abuse or covered it up, would take complaints by telephone and through an online link. It’s supposed to be operating within a year. Hotline operators would relay allegations to regional supervisory bishops. Church leaders are encouraging those bishops — though not requiring them — to seek help from lay experts in assessing and investigating allegations. “I can’t imagine a bishop not using a lay-led review board that’s filled with people who have expertise in this area of investigation, people with a legal background or a law enforcement background,” said Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Amber Kyzer stunned a South Carolina courtroom after she asked the jury to spare their murderer, her ex-husband Timothy Jones Jr., the death penalty, despite Jones having killed their five children. (Published Wednesday, June 12, 2019) Bishops approved the idea on the second day of their national meeting. The new system’s startup costs were estimated at $30,000, with… Read full this story
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