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The Laity Speaks24:50
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photoThe nation's Roman Catholic bishops adopted revisions to their sex abuse policy that aim to protect the rights of accused priests while keeping molesters away from children. Negotiators from the Holy See and United States reworked the policy to satisfy Vatican concerns that Americans weren't doing enough to ensure due process for priests.

The bishops insist the plan shows they are deeply committed to reform. Victims say it is a major step backward from the original policy.

The laity has become a vocal voice for reform in the Catholic Church. The gulf between bishops and the victims and lay people in the church appeared to be narrowing after the "zero tolerance" policy was adopted in Dallas. Now, Bishop Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop warns of "false prophets" who are using the priest sex abuse scandal to advance their own agendas.

In this hour, the voice of the laity after the bishops' vote. Will it be heard? Or, has it been silenced?

Guests:

Michael Paulson, religion reporter for the Boston Globe, co-author of "Betrayal: Crisis in the Catholic Church"

Susan Troy, founding member of Voice of the Faithful

Scott Appleby, Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at The University of Notre Dame

This program aired on November 13, 2002.

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