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Insights: CA AG Reviewing Records; Vatican Issues New Accountability Rules

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May 10, 2019

California Attorney General to Review Diocesan Mandatory Reporting Records

Xavier Becerra, the California Attorney General, has asked all 12 dioceses in California to preserve files and documents that concern their compliance as mandatory reporters of child abuse to local law enforcement.

In addition, the Attorney General’s Office has asked that six of the 12 dioceses voluntarily produce these same documents so that the AG’s Office can monitor their compliance with the letter and spirit of the law.  Those arch/dioceses are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Orange, Sacramento and San Jose.

Dioceses are committed to working with the civil authorities and have gone to great lengths to educate staff, volunteers and parishioners on mandatory reporting laws and recognizing the signs of sexual abuse. 

In addition, as Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto pointed out in response to the letter from the Attorney General “even those who are not mandated reporters are reminded of the moral obligation to be aware for the signs of child abuse and to report it when there is a reasonable suspicion an abuse has occurred.”

Arch/diocese are expected to cooperate with the AG’s request.


USCCB Issues Statement in Response to Pope’s Motu Propio

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding the release of Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio earlier today. The Motu Proprio, Vos estis lux mundi (“You are the light of the world”), is a worldwide order to the Church from the Pope, in response to the evil of sexual abuse. The new law comes after a meeting in Rome that brought together all episcopal conference presidents from across the globe to discuss the Church sex abuse crisis.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“Today, Pope Francis ordered a worldwide response to the evil of sexual abuse. It calls for the establishment of easily accessible reporting systems, clear standards for the pastoral support of victims and their families, timeliness and thoroughness of investigations, whistleblower protection for those making allegations, and active involvement of the laity. It also leaves latitude for national bishops’ conferences, such as the USCCB, to specify still more to account for their local circumstances. We receive the Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi (‘You are the light of the world’) as a blessing that will empower the Church everywhere to bring predators to justice, no matter what rank they hold in the Church. It also permits the Church the time and opportunity to bring spiritual healing.

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Get on the Bus’ Campaign

Children are heading to visit their mothers in prison this weekend thanks to the efforts of volunteers in parishes around the state.  Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries coordinates the Get on The Bus campaign, which takes children and their caregivers from throughout the state of California to visit incarcerated parents.

The annual event offers free transportation for the children to the prison. Local volunteers sponsor two trips each year, one to the two women's prisons near Chowchilla around Mothers' Day and one to the men's facilities near Soledad around Fathers' Day.  

Each child receives a travel bag, a photo with his or her parent, and meals for the day. On the trip home, children are provided with a teddy bear with a letter from their parent and post-event counseling.

Get on The Bus is a program of The Center for Restorative Justice Works, a non-profit organization that unites children, families and communities separated by crime and the criminal justice system.  

To support this program or other ministries of The Center for Restorative Justice Works, click here.


National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners

The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated May 22. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States of America, which has been celebrated since 1933 to honor those who serve as merchant mariners and to recognize the benefits of the maritime industry.

Bishop J. Kevin Boland, bishop emeritus of Savannah, Georgia and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter, encouraged dioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea in homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is encouraged.

“In a special way, let us remember those who have lost their lives at sea and those in dangerous situations,” Bishop Boland said.

Bishop Boland will celebrate a Mass in observance of Maritime Day on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m., in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

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Action Alerts

The abundance of Action Alerts from CCC over the last few days are an indication of the many pivotal bills moving inside the Capitol walls. Thank you to all who have heeded the call and sent letters to your legislators. We appreciate your patience and willingness to witness for the Church.

Work is not done and there are still active Action Alerts that need you to give voice to them.

Click here for alerts.



May 10, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 15

En Español