September 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he’s getting impatient waiting for Pope Francis to respond to the US Bishops’ request for an Apostolic Visitation to investigate former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s history of abuse.
At a press conference Thursday Dolan called for the Apostolic Investigation, something USCCB leadership began requesting last month, and which they took to a papal audience with Francis last week.
The request for papal intervention appears thus far to have been rejected.
“Part of my people saying ‘we're beginning to lose trust in bishops’ is their legitimate question as to how could a man continue to rise in the Church with a background like that?’” he said, according to Catholic News Agency. “And that’s a darn good question, that I share. We have got to get to the bottom of that.”
“How [that happens] is an ongoing question,” Dolan continued. “I think particularly an apostolic visitation from the Holy See that included lay professionals would be a particularly effective way to do that. We’ve proposed that to the Holy See and we wait.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, formally called for an Apostolic Visitation August 16. The call for an investigation into the charges against McCarrick has been echoed by a number of other U.S. bishops.
DiNardo and other USCCB leaders met with Pope Francis September 13, but neither the US Bishops’ Conference nor the Vatican has made an announcement on an Apostolic Visitation.
The USCCB’s Administrative Committee announced Wednesday it had approved action steps “within its authority” for the Bishops’ Conference to take in response to the abuse crisis. They involve investigating the McCarrick charges and cover-up, and also address holding bishops accountable for abuse or negligence in its handling.
However, only the pope can sanction a bishop, whether for sexual abuse or its cover-up.
While he did not offer suggestions, Dolan said if an apostolic visitation “doesn’t happen, there has to be an equally effective way” to investigate McCarrick.
Dolan was asked at the press conference why approval for an Apostolic Visitation had not been forthcoming,
“I tend to get as impatient as you obviously are, so I don’t know the answer to that,” he answered.
He was also asked whether the pope is doing enough to address concerns about the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.
“So far,” Dolan said. “I mean, you won’t be surprised that I love him and trust him very much and know that he’s on our side,” he said. “So I think…I mean he has a beautiful posture of reflection, of ‘let’s not act impetuously,’ you know – he’s spoken with prophetic fire in condemning this.”
“I trust that he’s going to come through,” Dolan said. “But I don’t mind admitting that I get a little impatient too.”