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Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

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TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians.

On September 8, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler Texas tweeted his support for other bishops who share this point of view.  

“I support Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Edward Burns & other bishops who have called for the Synod on Youth to be cancelled & replaced with an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops to deal with the abuse crisis in the Church,” he wrote. “This crisis must be addressed!!! NO to business as usual.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told an audience at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on August 30 that he had asked Pope Francis to cancel the upcoming Youth Synod.  

“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” he said. 

Chaput proposed that instead a synod should be held to address the topic of the bishops themselves. 

Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas, Texas has called for an extraordinary synod to discuss the myriad of issues that have come to the forefront of the current clerical sexual abuse scandal. 

A letter dated August 30 and signed by Burns and priests of his diocese declared that “The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm.” 

“The topics should include the care for the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc., ” it continued. “At the same time, to address the abuse of power, clericalism, accountability and the understanding of transparency in the Church.”

Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has also suggested an extraordinary synod is needed to discuss “the life and ministry of clergy.”

On Sunday, August 26, the day after Archbishop Viganò’s explosive testimony concerning the protection and promotion by Pope Francis of disgraced ex-cardinal Archbishop McCarrick was made public, Bishop Strickland sent copies of the letter to all his clergy with a cover letter saying that he found the accusations “credible” and would call for an investigation.

“Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible,” he wrote. “Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible.”  

“I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation,” Bishop Strickland continued, “but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that it’s findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church.”

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