Ah hell, it’s too long. Let’s go right to the recommendations:
No comment on proposal number 1.
I find #2 very troubling. My concern is the phrase stating that a priest will be dismissed “who has become notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory, sexual abuse of minors.” (emphasis added) I read this to mean that immediate dismissal of a serial abuser will not occur unless the priest has become “notorious” (which I read in its legal definition of being openly known to the public at large). IOW, a serial abuser who has managed to keep his crimes secret from the public will not by immediately dismissed. This is disturbingly close to an endorsement or encouragement of Cardinal Law’s policy up in Boston.
#3 is also troubling - the cardinals refused to adopt a “one-strike” policy.
#4 I find potentially very disturbing. I may be reading a bit much into the mention of “admissions requirements”, but I fear that they are talking about a witchhunt to deny entry into the priesthood by homosexuals.
#5 I read as fluff, but then again I’m not a Catholic.
#6 I just find irritating. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the cardinals to call for a day of prayer and penance for U.S. bishops and priests?
Important, IMO, is also what is missing from the statement. Why was there no discussion about setting up policies on investigation (what happened to non-clerical review boards) or cooperations with law enforcement?
Overall, I think the proposals could lead to no real change. The overriding concern appears to remain the public image of the church, rather than the protection of children. I find it sad.