Catholic leaders attempt damage control in wake of Pennsylvania child sex abuse report – ThinkProgress


Fallout continues within the Catholic Church following a bombshell grand jury report documenting over a thousand situations of kid sexual abuse from over 300 monks in Pennsylvania. While some Catholic leaders proceed to downplay the importance of the allegations, others are canceling upcoming public appearances.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who heads up Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, introduced earlier this week that he was canceling his trip to Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, which is able to embody a go to from Francis himself.

O’Malley claimed he’ll as a substitute be specializing in investigations into alleged sexual misconduct at St. John’s Seminary within the Brighton neighborhood of Boston — fully separate from the Pennsylvania report.

O’Malley announced an inquiry into allegations made by former seminarians whereas they have been enrolled at St. John’s. Calling the allegations “a supply of significant concern to me as Archbishop of Boston,” O’Malley positioned the seminary’s rector on “sabbatical depart” whereas the investigation is underway. Although the scenario is unbiased from the Pennsylvania report, it’s however conspicuous that the Pope’s point-person on investigating little one sexual abuse within the Church is avoiding a excessive profile look within the wake of the report.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington additionally introduced he was canceling his appearance on the Dublin convention, the place he was anticipated to supply a keynote handle. Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006 and the grand jury report discovered that he granted requests to monks who’d been accused of abuse to be reassigned to different parishes or retire early. In an announcement after the report was launched, Wuerl insisted that the report “confirmed that he acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to stop future acts of abuse.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who now results in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese in Texas and serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as soon as served as a priest within the Pittsburgh space. Saturday evening, he led a Mass at his outdated church, where he briefly addressed the report to a near-capacity crowd.

“We’re not simply financial and NGO — we’re the church, and once we mess up, we mess up badly,” he mentioned. “And so due to this fact, we’ve to depend on Jesus after which do the conventional issues that individuals have urged,” which is to reply to the report with “grace and self-discipline.”

Current Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, who has served in that position since 2007, defended the Church’s actions in an interview Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week. Among his claims, Zubik mentioned, “We have taken a place within the diocese of Pittsburgh since 2002 to not do any confidentiality agreements about whether or not the alleged abuse occurred.”

But Zubik himself has been under fire for such agreements. According to the report, in 2012, Zubik provided a sufferer cash for school tuition for his kids and for some counseling, however the man refused the supply as a result of he would have needed to agree to not discuss in regards to the abuse he endured. The report doesn’t affirm whether or not there was a written confidentiality settlement in that case or not.

“I can truthfully say that we’ve adopted each step that we would have liked to observe to be accountable in our response to the victims,” Zubik insisted within the interview.

Survivors Network of these Abused by Priests (SNAP), the world’s largest group for sexual abuse victims, has called on Zubik to resign. They are unconvinced by his claims to not have participated in any cowl ups, calling him a “callous and harmful outlier” in comparison with how different bishops have responded within the face of comparable allegations. SNAP has additionally referred to as on a boycott of donations to the Diocese of Pittsburgh till Zubik steps down or “takes confirmed steps that defend youngsters.”

A letter on behalf of Catholic theologians, educators, parishioners, and lay leaders calling on all U.S. Catholic bishops to collectively resign within the wake of the brand new allegations now has over 1,00zero signatures. Chile’s 34 bishops similarly resigned en masse over a sexual abuse scandal in May.

“The catastrophic scale and historic magnitude of the abuse makes clear that this isn’t a case of ‘just a few dangerous apples,’ however moderately a radical systemic injustice manifested at each degree of the Church,” the letter states. “Systemic sin can’t be ended by means of particular person goodwill.”



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