[[I got the following email from the Diocese and before that from the USCCB. To me this is a statement of hypocrisy. Until the bishops treat themselves the same way they treated and do now treat priests, I won’t for a second believe they are sincere. How did they treat priests, you know, with the Dallas Charter and The National Catholic Risk Retention Group? Here’s how:
An accusation comes in to an (arch)diocese about a priest. The priest is away anointing the sick at the hospital. He returns to find the rectory locked, all his things thrown out on the lawn with no explanation. No priest will talk to him. No bishop. It’s winter, and sleeting. He has no where to go. He’s innocent. But now even his own family will not talk to him. All friends have disappeared. At about six hours into the night under a bridge, he instead jumps off. Meanwhile, in those hours, the bishop has paid off a settlement, slitting the throat of the priest just in case he is still alive, and even if he isn’t. They say this isn’t proof of guilt, but that payment is used against him. At best he is out of the priesthood forever with no chance to defend himself, no due process, totally shamed. Maybe he will remember the beatitudes, but his seminary training was surely not about Jesus, just about CYA. At worst he has despaired. Bishops say that they are heroes for doing this, you know, because they saved thirty pieces of silver. Let’s see how nicely they treat themselves. They could have just said that the Dallas Charter and rules of The National Catholic Risk Retention Group applies to them as well (no lawyers, putting the accuser in charge, making instant settlement payments, holding priest to be guilty because they were ordained), but this is what the bishops avoided since the very beginning. Moreover, I wan’t to see the bishops place sanctions on themselves, like laicization, or if from the laity, another just penalty, if anyone says that homosexual abuse is actually pedophilia so as to protect the “legitimacy” of homosexuality. That covers just about all the laity in the media, and almost all bishops. The vast vast vast majority of cases were homosexual, not involving pedophilia. Anyway, here’s that email:]]
Below you will find a statement that has just been issued by the USCCB. It deals with the situation involving Archbishop McCarrick and the revelations of the Pennsylvania grand Jury. The gist of this communication is that significant change is coming on a variety of different fronts. As you get questions about these matters the statement will be a good reference to provide the faithful with answers. -d
David Hains – Director of Communication – Diocese of Charlotte
From: USCCB – Public Affairs on behalf of USCCB – Public Affairs
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 11:05 AM
To: “Hains, David W.”
Subject: President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican stating, “Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions,” as U.S. Bishops’ Offer Firm Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
August 16, 2018
WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement after a series of meetings with members of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and other bishops. The following statement includes three goals and three principles, along with initial steps of a plan that will involve laity, experts, and the Vatican. A more developed plan will be presented to the full body of bishops at their general assembly meeting in Baltimore in November.
Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:
“Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report. Earlier this week, the USCCB Executive Committee met again and established an outline of these necessary changes.
The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity.
We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican. We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting. In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them.
The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.
Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified.
The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future. We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act.
The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier. Our 2002 “Statement of Episcopal Commitment” does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops. We need to update this document. We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms. Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options.
The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops. For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process.
We will pursue these goals according to three criteria.
The first criterion is genuine independence. Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop. Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution.
The second criterion relates to authority in the Church. Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power.
Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity. Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence.
Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do. Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership. The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone. This is a moral catastrophe. It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure.
We firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, never to repeat it. I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures. It will take work to rebuild that trust. What I have outlined here is only the beginning; other steps will follow. I will keep you informed of our progress toward these goals.
Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions. Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd.”
Oh, did I mention that a homosexualist chairman of The National Catholic Risk Retention Group is fulfilling a twenty year prison sentence?
Oh, did I mention that I would like to see bishops recognize the due process rights of priests?