The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Wednesday that the sexual abuse allegations against the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick dates back several decades serious questions about the way in which the claims could remain secret for as long as the retired archbishop of Washington, D. C., increased in prestige and power.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said that the allegations against his former colleague, revealing a “serious moral mistake” and urged anyone who has experienced sexual abuse in the hands of the church to come forward. DiNardo reminded the bishops in the United States to these reports seriously and contact the police if necessary.
“Both the abuse itself, and the fact that they remained silent for decades, have caused great damage to the lives of people and represent a serious moral failure of judgment on the part of the leaders of the church,” he said in a statement.
“One way or the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter,” said DiNardo, who is also the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, in Texas.
The ruling comes as church officials deal with abuse again, more than a decade after the largest mass clergy abuse settlements in US history and the release of tens of thousands of documents that were sealed, a priest in the personnel files.
In an open letter Tuesday, a contribution to the conservative Catholic magazine First Things, urged the Catholics to refuse to make donations to the AMERICAN church until an independent investigation determines which of the AMERICAN bishops knew about McCarrick the crimes — a “nuclear option” aimed at making the members of the church, the sense of betrayal is heard.
In Pennsylvania, a Roman Catholic diocese on Wednesday identified 71 priests and the other members of the church who were accused of sexual abuse of children and said that holding accountable the bishops who led the church for the past 70 years, with the statement that their names will be stripped of all ecclesiastical property.
McCarrick, the Washington archbishop from 2000 to 2006, was previously one of the highest, most visible Catholic Church officials in the United States and was heavily involved in the church yearslong response to the allegations of priest abuse.
Pope Francis has ordered the 88-year-old removed from public ministry on 20 June after a church panel found that he allegations of sexual abuse of a teenager in New York more than 40 years ago, there were “credible and substantiated.”
The former altar boy alleged that McCarrick, then a priest, stroked him during the preparations for the Christmas Mass at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1971 and 1972.
Since then, another man only if James has come forward, saying that McCarrick first exposed himself to him when he was 11 and then engaged in a sexually abusive relationship with him for the next 20 years. McCarrick has denied the first accusation, but has not responded to the second.
At the time of McCarrick June removal, the New Jersey archdioceses of Newark and Metuchen turned out that they had three complaints of adults, who claimed misconduct and harassment, by McCarrick and had two of them.
Pope Francis then accepted McCarrick’s resignation on July 28, effectively stripping him of his cardinal’s title, and ordered him to live a life of penance and prayer, pending the outcome of a canonical process.
Flaccus reported from Portland, Oregon. Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.
Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus