Editorial: Flynn takes right stance on priest abuse

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 26, 2002

We applaud archbishop Harry Flynn of the Twin Cities for his support of a zero-tolerance policy for sexually abusive priests, and because of his position on a key committee may make this stance influential when church leaders meet in June to sort this mess out.

The conference of U.S. cardinals with the Pope this week has drawn some criticism for not going far enough. Although the Vatican clearly condemned abusive priests, the meeting did not produce a clear and strong policy that can be implemented in the U.S.

Gladly, though, Minnesota and the Dakotas may be leading the way toward reform by instituting an oversight procedure that involves people outside the church in the process of making personnel decisions about priests.

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The next step is for the conference of bishops to adopt a strict policy in June that will protect children and others from any chance of abuse in the future as well as help restore trust in the church.