U.S. bishops urge Vatican, lay investigation into ex-cardinal abuses




  • In US
  • 2018-08-16 18:00:06Z
  • By By Scott Malone
Cardinal McCarrick gestures during a meeting in Chicago.
Cardinal McCarrick gestures during a meeting in Chicago.  

By Scott Malone

(Reuters) - U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday called for a Vatican-led probe backed by lay investigators into allegations of sexual abuse by former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month.

The call comes two days after a Pennsylvania grand jury released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

"Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership," Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

The group said it would create a new way for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy to report allegations, and for those claims to be investigated without interference by the bishops who oversee priests who are accused of sex abuse.

It said that mechanism would involve more church members who were not members of the clergy but had expertise in law enforcement or psychology.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report on Tuesday was just the latest bombshell in a scandal that erupted onto the global stage in 2002, when the Boston Globe reported that for decades, priests had sexually assaulted minors while church leaders covered up their crimes.

Similar reports have since emerged in Europe, Australia and Chile, prompting lawsuits, sending dioceses into bankruptcy and undercutting the moral authority of the leadership of the Catholic Church, which has some 1.2 billion members around the world.

One prominent Catholic group, which was formed to promote parishioner's voices after the abuse scandal first emerged, expressed concern over how the new abuse reporting process would work.

"I take everything with a huge grain of salt, but this is the strongest statement that I can recall involving laity and law enforcement," said Nick Ingala, spokesman for the Voice of the Faithful group, in a phone interview.

He said it would be critical that any new review process be independent of clerical influence, but added, "I don't know how they are going to work that out."

McCarrick last month became the first cardinal in living memory to lose his red hat and title. Other cardinals who have been disciplined in sexual abuse scandals had kept the honorific "Your Eminence."

The Vatican has not yet publicly commented on the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Its normal practice is to leave such comment to national bishops' organizations.


(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by David Gregorio and Bernadette Baum)

COMMENTS

More Related News

In U.S., pope
In U.S., pope's summit on sex abuse seen as too little, too late
  • US
  • 2019-02-20 23:24:03Z

In the study of his home outside Washington, victims' advocate Tom Doyle searched a shelf packed with books to find the thick report that led him to stop practicing as a priest and devote himself to helping those who had been sexually abused by clergymen. The 1985 report was one of the first exposes in a sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has called senior bishops to meet for four days starting on Thursday to discuss how to tackle the worsening crisis.

The Latest: Vatican thanks abuse survivors for testimonies
The Latest: Vatican thanks abuse survivors for testimonies
  • World
  • 2019-02-20 15:55:05Z

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Latest on the Vatican summit on dealing with sex abuse of minors (all times local):

Cardinals blame
Cardinals blame 'homosexual agenda' for abuse crisis

Two cardinals criticised on Wednesday Pope Francis's approach to the clerical paedophilia crisis, saying "abuse of power" was not to blame but homosexuality. "We turn to you with deep distress! The Catholic world is adrift," US Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and German Cardinal Walter Brandmueller said in an open letter to the heads of the bishops' conferences. "Sexual abuse is blamed on clericalism.

Vatican secret out: There are rules for priests who father children
Vatican secret out: There are rules for priests who father children

The Vatican acknowledges it has a set of guidelines for dealing with priests who father children, according to reports.

The stakes are high for Pope Francis, Catholics worldwide ahead of unprecedented sex abuse summit
The stakes are high for Pope Francis, Catholics worldwide ahead of unprecedented sex abuse summit

Two groups representing the leadership of Catholic religious orders apologized Tuesday for their failure to quickly act to halt sexual abuse of children by priests.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.