The unfolding clergy sex-abuse scandal in the US widened last week, with a joint raid by federal, state and local police on the office of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US bishops’ conference and Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, writes Michael Sean Winters.
The US bishops’ conference concluded its autumn plenary last week divided and disheartened. After a summer of intense focus on their mishandling of clergy sex abuse issues, they fumbled any attempt to demonstrate a reason the people in the pews should trust them to lead the ecclesial community.
As the US bishops prepare for their 13-14 November plenary meeting in Baltimore, the issue of clerical sex abuse continues to dominate media coverage, as the leadership of the Church struggles to get its house in order.
US Attorney William McSwain sent a letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the US bishops’ conference, for transmission to all the bishops in the country, ordering them to “not destroy, discard, dispose of, delete, or alter any of the described documents” as he investigates “possible violations of federal law.”
The Administrative Committee of the U.S. bishops’ conference met last week “at this time of shame and sorrow” and announced efforts to confront the clergy sex abuse crisis that returned to the forefront of Church life in the U.S. this summer. The committee consists of the chairs of all conference committees as well as regional representatives, about 35 bishops in all
Following the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s report last month, attorneys general in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and Illinois announced that they were opening investigations into clergy sex abuse.
The head of the United States bishops’ conference has promised resolve in the face of what he termed “a moral catastrophe”, after the publication in Pennsylvania of a grand jury report detailing hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by priests against children in six dioceses over more than seven decades.
A new allegation of sexual abuse of a child was levelled against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick last week, and details emerged about settlements made with adult seminarians whom the cardinal allegedly abused in the 1980s, when he served as Bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, and later as Archbishop of Newark.
A new allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was levelled against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick last week, and new details emerged about settlements made with seminarians, who were not minors, whom McCarrick allegedly abused in the 1980s when he served as Bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, and later as Archbishop of Newark.