President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Renews Commitment for Greater Effectiveness and Transparency in Disciplining Bishops

August 27, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

 WASHINGTON— CardinalDaniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the UnitedStates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued the followingstatement.

CardinalDiNardo's full statement follows:

"Incommunion with the Holy Father, I join the Executive Committee of the UnitedStates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in taking upon ourselves hisexhortation, 'this open wound [of abuse] challenges us to be firm and decisivein the pursuit of truth and justice.'

"OnAugust 1st, I promised that USCCB would exercise the full extent of itsauthority, and would advocate before those with greater authority, to pursuethe many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. On August 16th, I called for an ApostolicVisitation, working in concert with a national lay commission grantedindependent authority, to seek the truth. Yesterday, I convened our Executive Committee once again, and itreaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the gravemoral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long andproven no impediment to his advancement.

"Therecent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus andurgency to this examination. Thequestions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and theguilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.

"Iam eager for an audience with the Holy Father to earn his support for our planof action. That plan includes moredetailed proposals to: seek out these answers, make reporting of abuse andmisconduct by bishops easier, and improve procedures for resolving complaintsagainst bishops. Inspired by his recentletter to the people of God, and his motuproprio of two years ago, As a LovingMother, I am confident Pope Francis shares our desire for greatereffectiveness and transparency in the matter of disciplining bishops. We renew ourfraternal affection for the Holy Father in these difficult days.

"Tothe survivors of abuse and the families who have lost a loved one to abuse, Iam sorry. You are no longer alone. Since 2002, hundreds of professionallytrained staff across the country have been working with the Church to supportsurvivors and prevent future abuse. Nationwide, the Church has a zero-tolerance policy toward priests anddeacons who abuse, safe environment training, background checks for thoseworking around children, victim assistance coordinators, prompt reporting tocivil authorities, and lay review boards in dioceses.

"Inother ways, we have failed you. This isespecially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions ofpower, and for any abuse or harassment perpetrated by a bishop. We will do better. The more she is buffetedby storms, the more I am reminded that the Church's firm foundation is JesusChrist. The failures of men cannotdiminish the light of the Gospel. Lord,by the help of your mercy, show us the way to salvation."

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Keywords:United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N.DiNardo, Pope Francis, Executive Committee, Archbishop McCarrick, ArchbishopCarlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Visitation, national lay commission, independentauthority, motu proprio, As a Loving Mother, clergy sex abuse,survivors, zero-tolerance, safe environment, victim assistance coordinators,civil authorities, truth, justice

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