O'Malley: 'Specific actions' needed now to address claims against cardinal


BOSTON (CNS) — Boston Cardinal
Sean P. O’Malley called for “three specific actions” to immediately address allegations
of sexual abuse of minors and “sexual improprieties” with seminarians made against
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, starting with “a fair and rapid adjudication of
these accusations.”

Second, there must be “an
assessment of the adequacy of our standards and policies in the church at every
level, and especially in the case of bishops,” he said in a statement issued
late July 24. “And third, communicating more clearly to the Catholic faithful
and to all victims the process for reporting allegations against bishops and

“Failure to take these actions
will threaten and endanger the already weakened moral authority of the church
and can destroy the trust required for the church to minister to Catholics and
have a meaningful role in the wider civil society,” Cardinal O’Malley said.

The cardinal, who is president
of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, issued the statement
in response to articles in the national media over the past several days that “have
reported accusations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual improprieties with
several adults and his criminal violations of the sexual abuse of minors.”

“These alleged actions, when
committed by any person, are morally unacceptable and incompatible with the
role of a priest, bishop or cardinal,” Cardinal O’Malley said.

In late June,
Cardinal McCarrick, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Washington, said he
would no longer exercise any public ministry “in obedience” to the
Vatican after an allegation he abused a teenager 47 years ago in the
Archdiocese of New York was found credible. The cardinal has said he is

Cardinal O’Malley added: “In
this moment there is no greater imperative for the church than to hold itself
accountable to address these matters, which I will bring to my upcoming
meetings with the Holy See with great urgency and concern.”


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