Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

US Bishops Pledge to 'Take Steps' about Abuse

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

US Bishops Pledge to 'Take Steps' about Abuse

Article excerpt

In the two months since Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, was removed from public ministry and then resigned his position in the College of Cardinals, the leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church has been clear that something must be done.

From Newark, New Jersey, an archdiocese that McCarrick headed from 1986 to 2000 and that in 2004 reached a settlement with a seminarian who said McCarrick sexually assaulted him, Cardinal Joseph Tobin said, "I intend to discuss this tragedy with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to articulate standards that will assure high standards of respect by bishops, priests and deacons for all adults."

The conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced in early August that he had convened a meeting of the conference executive committee to discuss "steps we should be taking," and pledged, "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 conference.

So while the need for action is clearly on the bishops' agenda, less clear at this point is what that action will be and what exactly will be addressed.

In an interview with NCR Aug. 5, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington welcomed DiNardo's announcement placing these issues on the bishops' agenda, but he added that they can't wait until November. …

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