Pope Francis has summoned Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop José Gomez, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield to the Vatican for a meeting concerning the recent grand jury report detailing sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, according to America magazine, a Jesuit publication. O’Malley’s inclusion is notable—he leads the Vatican’s commission for the protection of young people, is the archbishop of Boston, and often attends Boston College’s commencement exercises.
DiNardo and Gomez are the president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bransfield is the organization’s general secretary.
U.S. bishops have proposed a plan that, according to a statement from DiNardo, contains more detailed proposals for how abuse and misconduct is reported within the church. DiNardo also apologized in that statement, renewing the church’s commitment to helping survivors of abuse in addition to USCCB’s new reporting proposals.
In his most recent comments made at a gathered assembly of his commission in Rome, O’Malley emphasized that the abuse crisis “must be the priority that we concentrate on right now,” according to The Boston Globe. He went on to say that Vatican officials should listen to insights provided by victims moving forward.
“We see, particularly in light of the present situation, how if the church is unable to respond wholeheartedly and make this a priority, all of our other activities of evangelization … are all going to suffer,” O’Malley said.
The archbishop apologized in August for the way his office handled a letter sent to O’Malley that he never saw alleging McCarrick’s abuse violations in 2015. Last Friday, the Archdiocese of Boston announced O’Malley will now read every letter addressed to him that is abuse-related, even if the letter may not be something the archbishop specifically has oversight over, according to the Globe.
At University Convocation two weeks ago, University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., offered comments on the church scandal, committing to a “similar response” to how BC reacted to the abuse crisis in 2002, when the University created the Church in the 21st Century Center (C21).
“I think BC is well-positioned to get involved with these matters that touch sexual abuse but also about other matters that require attention,” Leahy said.
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