By Gudrun Schultz

WASHINGTON, United States, March 31, 2006 ( – The U.S. bishops and the Vatican are discussing disciplinary action against bishops who moved priests accused of child abuse from parish to parish.

The bishops have often been criticized for failing to include disciplinary action against bishops who move priests around in their child sex abuse prevention policies. Under church law, however, only the pope can discipline a bishop.

The head of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, told Catholic News Service church officials know more about dealing with child sexual abuse now than they did several decades ago.Â

To this date, the extent of penalization taken against bishops has been early resignation. Bishop Skylstad said the Vatican has already “taken action” against Cardinal Bernard F. Law by accepting his early resignation as head of the Boston Archdiocese.

Cardinal Law resigned in December 2002, four years before mandatory retirement age, after the full extent of his cover-up of the abuse scandal in the Boston diocese became apparent.

Several U.S. bishops who were directly involved in the abuse of minors were also accepted for early resignation, said Bishop Skylstad.

See LifeSiteNews coverage:

Church Abuse Crisis: Notable Documents and Quotes


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