Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’

Statement of the USCCB on Pursuing Political Solution in Syria

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I would like to share with you the following press release that was issued today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on pursuing a peaceful political solution in Syria instead of a military intervention.


Bishops make appeal same day Pope Francis urges G20 nations to pursue peace
Affirm Congressional finding that only negotiated political settlement will work
Assure Congress of their prayers

WASHINGTON—On the same day that Pope Francis asked the G20 nations to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” in Syria, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote to every member of Congress, urging them not to resort to military intervention, but instead work to end the violence in Syria through a political solution.

In their September 5 letter, Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates affirmed the finding of a proposed Congressional resolution that acknowledges that “the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement,” and questioned military intervention. The bishops also condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, declaring these “indiscriminate weapons have no place in the arsenals of the family of nations.” They noted that more than 100,000 Syrians have lost their lives, more than 2 million have fled the country as refugees, and more than 4 million within Syria have been driven from their homes by the ongoing conflict.

“Our focus is on the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria and on saving lives by ending the conflict, not fueling it,” the bishops wrote. They echoed the appeals of Pope Francis and bishops in the Middle East who “have made it clear that a military attack will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation, and will have unintended negative consequences.”

“We ask the United States to work urgently and tirelessly with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial humanitarian assistance, and encourage efforts to build an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities,” they wrote. The bishops also assured Congress of their prayers in the midst of this complex situation.

Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates wrote to President Obama September 4, also urging a political solution in Syria.


Statement on Charter for Protection of Children and Young People

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Today, the Archdiocese of New York released the following statement  to the press regarding the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2011 Annual Report on the implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.


For the seventh consecutive year the Archdiocese of New York was found to be in full compliance with the Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, created in 2002, in response to the grave problem of child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released their annual summary earlier this week.

The situation in the Archdiocese of New York details how we have continued to ensure a safe environment for our young people.  Since 2003, the Archdiocese has completed a total of 87,926 background checks on clergy, employees, and volunteers, including 7,588 for the most recent calendar year of 2011. Additionally, during the same time period 78,893 people have received safe environment training – more than 7800 in the past year — and 157,479 school children received age appropriate safety training in the 2010-2011 school year.

The Child Protection Policies require that all those who are in regular contact with minors must: complete the screening process, including a background check; abide by the Safe Environment Policies, the Policy Relating to Sexual Misconduct, and the Code of Conduct; and complete Safe Environment Training appropriate to their position. If any person is not in compliance with these requirements, they may not work or volunteer with minors.   Since the child protection policies have been implemented, 52 people have been excluded from working with minors due to negative results of background checks or failing to comply with training or background check requirements.

The audit is undertaken by outside auditors under the supervision of the independent National Review Board established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese was established to implement Articles 12 and 13 of the Charter.  Article 12 mandates the establishment of programs to train staff in “ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children and young people”, and to publicize “the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust with regard to children”.  Article 13 requires that the Archdiocese evaluate the background of all clergy and of all those whose duties include ongoing, unsupervised contact with minors.