The Charter and Essential Norms are applied to bishops

The Charter and Essential Norms are applied to bishops

I’ve been reminded, with regard to the Sklystad story, that the US bishops amended the Charter to apply it to themselves last June. The relevant bit says:

In cases of an allegation of sexual abuse of minors by bishops, we will apply the requirements of the Charter also to ourselves, respecting always Church law as it applies to bishops. In such cases, we will inform the Apostolic Nuncio.

The Charter, in its turn refers to the Essential Norms, with regard to how allegations are handled.

When an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest or deacon is received, a preliminary investigation in accordance with canon law will be initiated and conducted promptly and objectively (CIC, c. 1717; CCEO, c. 1468). ... When there is sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a minor has occurred, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith shall be notified. The bishop/eparch shall then apply the precautionary measures mentioned in CIC, canon 1722, or CCEO, canon 1473—i.e., withdraw the accused from exercising the sacred ministry or any ecclesiastical office or function, impose or prohibit residence in a given place or territory, and prohibit public participation in the Most Holy Eucharist pending the outcome of the process.

The investigation is to be carried out by the diocesan review board.

But will he be forced to step aside temporarily?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli