Texas Bishop Calls for Alleged Enablers of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick to Be Held Accountable

In this Sept. 23, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. Pope Francis has accepted U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick's offer …
Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via AP

The bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, has called for further investigation and decisive action in the case of alleged serial homosexual abuser Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, DC.

In a powerfully worded public letter Saturday, Bishop Michael F. Olson said the former cardinal’s alleged crimes have caused such damage “to the integrity of the hierarchy and mission of the Church” that his immediate laicization should be “strongly deliberated.” Such a move would aid “reconciliation and healing in the light of the justice and merciful redemption as won by Christ and promised to all who are alienated by the corruption of sin.”

The Texas bishop also said that Church leaders who knew of the former cardinal’s “alleged crimes and sexual misconduct and did nothing” must be held “accountable for their refusal to act thereby enabling others to be hurt.”

“As each day passes, we learn that the former Cardinal not only perpetrated abuse against minors but also against subordinates including priests, seminarians, and members of the laity,” the letter states.

“We see in the scandalous crimes and sins alleged to have been committed by now former Cardinal McCarrick, the violation of trust and the grave damage caused to the lives and health of his purported victims,” he said. “The scandal and pain are compounded by the horrific fact that reportedly one of his victims was his first baptism after his priestly ordination.”

As Breitbart News reported, on Saturday Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick from the college of cardinals after a series of public accusations of sexual impropriety and abuse spanning decades.

“Yesterday evening the Holy Father received the letter in which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington (U.S.A.), presented his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals,” reads a statement posted on the Vatican website Saturday.

Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the cardinalate and “ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance” the statement declared, “until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

The public airing of the McCarrick affair became public on June 20 when the Archdiocese of New York released a statement announcing “credible and substantiated” allegations of abuse by McCarrick when he was a priest of the New York archdiocese 45 years ago.

A number of purported victims have claimed that as archbishop of Newark, McCarrick would invite groups of seminarians and young priests to “weekend getaways” at his beach house, where he would allegedly “sexually harass and assault seminarians and young priests.”

On July 19, the New York Times posted a photograph taken in the 1970s of then-Father McCarrick and a boy identified as James. The two are in bathing suits, and the priest has his arm around the young man’s waist. The accompanying article relates a series of accusations of homosexual abuse by McCarrick, whom his young victims would refer to as “Uncle Ted.”

In his letter Saturday, Bishop Olson said that McCarrick’s alleged crimes were “scandalous” and resulted in violation of trust and “grave damage” to the lives and health of his alleged victims.

“The evil effects of these actions were multiplied by the fact that financial settlements were arranged with victims without transparency or restrictions on the former cardinal’s ministry,” Bishop Olson said.

“Please continue to pray for the reported victims and the families who have been hurt by the alleged crimes and sins of former Cardinal McCarrick and others,” Olson said. “Pray also that we can work together to respond not only in word but in action to prevent further crimes and transgressions.”

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