U.S. bishops delay action on clergy abuse
at Vatican's request
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[November 13, 2018]
By Gabriella Borter
(Reuters) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops will delay action to deal with a crisis involving sexual abuse
of minors by clergy until after a global meeting in February at the
request of the Vatican, conference president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
said on Monday.
The Catholic Church worldwide is reeling from crises involving sexual
abuse of minors, deeply damaging confidence in the Church in the United
States, Chile, Australia, Ireland and elsewhere.
Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said the Congregation for Bishops
in Rome had sent a letter asking U.S. bishops to wait until after the
Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse takes place in February.
"We have accepted with disappointment this particular event that took
place this morning," Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said at a
media conference on Monday, the opening day of the conference. "We have
not lessened in any of our resolve for actions."
In the United States, 13 state attorneys general have launched statewide
investigations into sexual abuse by clergy.
In August, an 884-page report made public by Pennsylvania Attorney
General Josh Shapiro stated that Roman Catholic priests in the state
sexually abused nearly 1,000 children over a 70-year period and silenced
victims through "the weaponization of faith" and a systematic cover-up
campaign by their bishops.
The conference of bishops had expected to focus this week on a measures
to combat abuse, including establishing a new code of conduct, according
to a September statement.
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Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops, speaks during a press conference at the USCCB
general assembly in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., November 12, 2018.
"We humbly welcome and are grateful for the assistance of the whole
people of God in holding us accountable," the statement said.
Terry McKiernan, co-director of victims' advocacy group
BishopAccountability.org, said the Pope's intervention in this
week's conference was a frustrating setback.
"This situation is so terrible that the only way that itís really
going to be solved is if bishops convincingly demonstrate their
remorse and concern," McKiernan told Reuters in a phone interview.
DiNardo called the delay "a bump in the road" on Monday but said it
does not reflect U.S. bishops' lack of determination to deal with
"We were all set to move to reach an action stage here this week,"
DiNardo said. "I don't look upon any of this as a change in
direction for the Catholic bishops of the United States."
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Susan Thomas)
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