Archbishop Schnurr, USCCB issue statements on Cardinal McCarrick
Aug. 3, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am writing to share with you the remarks of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, regarding the allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the steps that the bishops will be taking as a result. (Editor’s note: Cardinal DiNardo’s remarks follow Archbishop Schnurr’s.)
Catholics everywhere, including myself, are angered and saddened at these tragic revelations. From the depths of my heart, I express great sorrow for the pain that any victims of Archbishop McCarrick have endured. Let us all pray for their healing and peace. At the same time, I am grateful to those who have courageously stepped forward to bring these evil events to light.
I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s ongoing commitment to the protection of all people, children and adults, involved in any of our various offices, parishes, schools, or other ministries. Since 1993, we have embraced and promulgated the Decree on Child Protection, which now also covers vulnerable adults, including:
- Complete background checks on all clerics, employees and volunteers;
- Ongoing required training on recognizing signs of abuse via Virtus;
- Procedures for reporting suspected abuse; and
- Immediately reporting all allegations of abuse to the appropriate civil authorities.
Please join me in maintaining vigilance regarding the safety and protection of all people. If you see something, say something. Please report any suspected abuse on the part of any agent of the Archdiocese to the appropriate civil authorities, as well as to the Coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse in the Archdiocese at 513-263-6623 or 1-800-686-2724, ext. 6623.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of the Catholic Church in the United States, continue to intercede for us. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us.
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Course of Action Responding to Moral Failures of Judgement on the Part of Church Leaders
August 1, 2018
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God.
Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:
“The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God. Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people’s lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders.
These failures raise serious questions. Why weren’t these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials? Why wasn’t this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power?
Archbishop McCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the Holy See regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we should be taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, I have convened the USCCB Executive Committee. This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me to stress these four points immediately.
First, I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses to respond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed by anyone in the Church. We should do whatever we can to accompany them.
Second, I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyone in the Church to come forward. Where the incident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local law enforcement.
Third, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct to the full extent of its authority; and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate with those who do have the authority. One way or 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 to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins.
Let us pray for God’s wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul’s instruction: ‘Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect’ (Romans 12:2).”