Church leaders must face truth of abuse, Cardinal DiNardo says

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the conference, arrive for a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The president of the U.S. bishops' conference welcomed Pope Francis' pledge to fight attempts to cover up cases of sexual abuse and to stop offering special treatment to bishops who have committed or covered up abuse.

"On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of Oct. 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said in a statement released Oct. 7 in Rome.

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The cardinal, president of the USCCB, is in Rome for the Synod of Bishops. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, conference vice president, also is in Rome for the synod, and the two U.S. leaders were expected to meet privately with Pope Francis Oct. 8 as questions continue over the handling of years of allegations of sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington.

In a statement Oct. 6, the Vatican said Pope Francis had ordered a thorough review of the archives of Vatican offices to study how the allegations were handled.

"The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice."

"The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues. However, as Pope Francis has said: 'We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,'" the Vatican statement said.

Cardinal DiNardo, who earlier had requested a full investigation, said, "The truth will ensure the terrible sins of the past are not repeated. The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice."

The U.S. cardinal's statement was published the same day Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, responded to allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former nuncio to the United States, that Pope Francis knew about and ignored the allegations against then-Cardinal McCarrick.

Cardinal Ouellet called Archbishop Viganò's accusations a "political" ploy that had wounded the unity of the church.

"Out of respect for the victims and given the need for justice, the inquiry currently underway in the United States and in the Roman Curia should provide a comprehensive and critical study of the procedures and the circumstances of this painful case in order to prevent something like it from ever happening in the future," Cardinal Ouellet said.

Cardinal DiNardo said he and all the U.S. bishops "offer our prayers and solidarity for the Holy Father. We urge all in the church, particularly the bishops, to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church."

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Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
1 month 1 week ago

It is baffling that DiNardo takes a posture of being concerned about clerical abuse considering in his very diocese and under his leadership two priests were arrested by police in September for sexually abusing children

“Ahead of meeting with Pope, Cardinal DiNardo accused of knowing about sex abuse allegations
"Cardinal seemed dismissive of situation," said one of the alleged victims. He also wrote down what he says is a quote from DiNardo: "You should have told us sooner."
Author: The Associated Press
Published: 2:16 PM CDT September 12, 2018
HOUSTON - As U.S. Catholic leaders head to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis about a growing church abuse crisis, the cardinal leading the delegation has been accused by two people of not doing enough to stop a priest who was arrested this week on sexual abuse charges.”
https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/ahead-of-meeting-with-pope-card…

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1 month 1 week ago

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1 Timothy 1:5-7
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1 month 1 week ago

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Pooja Sain
1 month 1 week ago

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Phillip Stone
1 month 1 week ago

Is anyone seriously suggesting that the widespread sexual abuse scandal did not occur? That "evil in epidemic proportions amongst consecrated religious in the Catholic church has started, erupted and spread and is currently dying out" is the issue for today?

The proper topic of today is abuse and neglect of power, failure of governance and lack of provision for rectification.

I take it for granted that human institutions function as hierarchies and that will never alter. I accept that hierarchies of age, of power and of office cannot be avoided.
I expect a properly functioning network of hierarchies to include error detection, investigation and coercive power to control and punish.

Is it too much to expect that the institution representing Almighty God and his values and expectations amongst men be a model and exemplar for all other institutions?

No wonder human institutions are so deeply and perpetually corrupt if Christianity cannot do any better than it does at present.

Michael Barberi
1 month 1 week ago

Who are these U.S. investigators? Are they bishops and cardinals and some theologians? What happened to an independent lay-lead and impartial committee to investigate all these matters? Why is this information about the investigators being kept from Catholics?

Jeffrey More
1 month 1 week ago

Good points, Michael - especially your question regarding a lay-led committee to investigate. As reported in America Magazine, on August 16 DiNardo issued a letter to Catholics outlining a detailed and (in theory, at least) rigorous plan for investigating these matters. DiNardo's plan was very heavy on lay involvement in the investigatory process he was proposing. Then DiNardo and three other representatives of American Catholic bishops went to Rome to meet with the Pope, and afterwards no one - not DiNardo, nor the Vatican - would provide any specifics of what was discussed. This seemed a little odd, given DiNardo's pre-meeting big talk about his proposals for dealing with the current crisis. But now, and odder still, on the very day Ouillet issues a statement accusing Vigano of blasphemy for his criticisms of the Pope with regard to his alleged actions regarding McCarrick, DiNardo issues the statement referenced in this article, which basically praises a "plan" consisting of virtually nothing except a half-hearted promise to look through some records. DiNardo's whole tone has changed since August - he's become fawning, and sounds now like a whipped dog. It almost seems he's been run through some kind of re-education camp, in which he's been read the riot act and told to stand down and just go along with whatever foot-dragging, obfuscatory program the Vatican crafts.

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