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Church Leadership Calls for Strict Standards to Prevent Abuse

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August 9, 2018

Last week, USCCB president and Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo issued a statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God. The statement is in response to the allegations of abuse by retired Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

"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 judgment on the part of Church leaders,” Cardinal DiNardo said.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston issued a statement calling for stringent standards to prevent abuse within the Church. 

“These cases and others require more than apologies. They 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,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “While the Church in the United States has adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests we must have clearer procedures for cases involving bishops. Transparent and consistent protocols are needed to provide justice for the victims and to adequately respond to the legitimate indignation of the community. 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.”

Cardinal McCarrick, 86, currently resides in a retirement home in Washington, D.C. An investigation into the charges of abuse is still underway.