Key Adviser to Pope Francis requested the Vatican to adhere to strict policy handling for cases of sexual abuse.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, key adviser to Pope Francis requested the Vatican to adhere to strict policy handling for cases of sexual abuse involving high ranking clergy of the Church and Bishops. The appeal with the Church comes on the heels of allegations of yet another Cardinal allegedly abusing minors from many years ago.
O’Malley said he was “deeply troubled” by the cases detailed accounts of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and that it and others “raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse”.
After the discovery of sexual abuse committed 50 years ago by McCarrick, that was founded to be credible, the Vatican ordered the archbishop to terminate his public ministry.
Before the truth had come out about McCarrick’s sexual abuse history, he was viewed to Catholic Americans as one of the most respected leaders of the Church. He served as a confidant to the pope and presidents between the years 2000-2006. Several men since that time have come forward in bravery, claiming that as they were adult seminarians, McCarrick had raped them in a beach house in New Jersey. While McCarrick has made no comment on his abusive actions toward adult men, he claims he has “absolutely no recollection” of the sexual abuse of a minor.
Two dioceses in New Jersey have completed financial restitution in 2005 and 2007 with men that were abused as adults by McCarrick.
“The Church needs a strong and comprehensive policy to address bishops’ violations of the vows of celibacy in cases of the criminal abuse of minors and in cases involving adults. The Church needs to swiftly and decisively take action regarding these matters of critical importance.” O’Malley stated.
Three years ago, the Vatican announced that they would produce a singular tribunal to handle sexual abuse cases involving bishops. However, legal and bureaucratic issues have prevented this plan from ever starting. O’Malley made a comment that the tribunal needs to be in the works, and that bishops and cardinals entail a “fair and rapid adjudication”. He goes on to state, “Failure to take these actions will threaten and endanger the already weakened moral authority of the Church”.
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