Bishops propose firing pedophile priests
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- United States Roman Catholic bishops' proposed rules for disciplining clergymen accused of sexually abusing children include recommended dismissal in certain cases.
According to a draft report to be issued Tuesday, the recommendations include defrocking priests who abuse minors in the future as well as those who have molested more than one child previously.
Bishops are to consider the report, prepared by a panel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, when they meet next week at a conference in Dallas, Texas.
The report does not completely endorse a zero-tolerance policy.
It would allow priests and bishops to retain their rank if clerics have only one offense, have not been diagnosed as pedophiles and have had clean records since the single offense.
This proposal relies on the pope's guidance to trust in the power of "conversion" of those who have sinned. Nevertheless, a diocesan review board must examine a priest's ministerial status.
Among the proposals for disciplinary action:
In a move apparently meant to quell complaints that church officials moved some priests from parish to parish despite abuse allegations, the report calls for a review of a priest's record before he is transferred.
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