President of U.S. Bishops Conference Issues Statement on Course of Action Responding to Moral Failures on Part of Church Leaders

August 1, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop ofGalveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of CatholicBishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. BishopsConference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting thepeople of God.   

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

"Theaccusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moralfailure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I knowthey do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have beendone to protect the People of God. Boththe abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed fordecades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moralfailures of judgement on the part of Church leaders.

Thesefailures raise serious questions. Why weren't these allegations of sins againstchastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Churchofficials? Why wasn't this egregious situation addressed decades sooner andwith justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern apriestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power?

ArchbishopMcCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the HolySee regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we shouldbe taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, Ihave convened the USCCB Executive Committee. This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend intoour Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly inNovember. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the rightcourse of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me tostress these four points immediately.

First,I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses torespond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused orharassed by anyone in the Church. Weshould do whatever we can to accompany them.

Second,I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyonein the Church to come forward. Where theincident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local lawenforcement.

Third,the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questionssurrounding Archbishop McCarrick's conduct to the full extent of its authority;and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate withthose who do have the authority. One wayor the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter.

Finally,we bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek torestore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church issuffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involvelearning from past sins.

Letus pray for God's wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul'sinstruction: 'Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by therenewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what isgood and pleasing and perfect' (Romans 12:2)."


Keywords:Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,USCCB, USCCB Executive Committee, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, moral failure,seminaries, human dignity, canonical process, Holy See, General Assembly


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