October 1, 2012

SAINTE-ADÈLE, QUEBEC – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is examining the prevention of clerical sexual abuse during the bishops' Sept. 24-28 assembly.

The bishops will receive the updated guidelines prepared for submission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, the CCCB president, said in his annual president's address here Sept. 23.

The reflections will also deal with the impact of the clerical sexual abuse crisis on the ministry of priests and how bishops can provide better support.

"How to we foster healing? How do we ensure safe environments? What are the situations that could facilitate boundary violations?" Smith asked.

The bishops will also look at the conditions that increase the risk of sexual abuse with an eye to prevention, according to the CCCB program for the week.

Smith stressed that those in ministry must provide an "unblemished" example.