Cardinal O’Malley pulls out of World Meeting of Families amid sex abuse scandal
August 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has cancelled his appearance at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin on the heels of sex abuse accusations at his St. John’s Seminary and the revelation that O’Malley fundraised and traveled with Theodore McCarrick after his office received a letter warning of the disgraced now ex-cardinal’s predation.
O’Malley’s decision comes as Catholics protest the family event over its promotion of the LGBT agenda. Catholics have organized an orthodox alternative called the Conference of Catholic Families, to be held August 22-23 in Dublin.
“Though previously scheduled to moderate a panel presentation and discussion at the World Meeting of Families, important matters pertaining to the pastoral care of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston and the seminarians enrolled in the formation program there require the Cardinal's personal attention and presence,” the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement.
Former seminarians have accused the rector of St. John’s Seminary, Monsignor James Moroney, of sexual harassment, and O’Malley has placed Moroney on sabbatical while the matter is investigated.
O’Malley, who runs a new papal commission on child sex abuse, has “great confidence in Baroness Sheila Hollins, Ms. Marie Collins, Ms. Barbara Thorp and Gabriel Dy-Liacco, Ph.D., going forward with the World Meeting panel ‘Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults,’” the Boston archdiocese’s statement said.
The World Meeting of Families, scheduled for later this month, has already caused controversy over materials it produced seemingly promoting homosexuality and for inviting the radical Jesuit priest Father James Martin to speak.
Father Martin, a Vatican advisor who uses his large social media following to advocate that the Catholic Church be accepting of homosexuality and transgenderism, has been defiant about his planned speech despite petitions against his appearance.
Father Martin recently said on PBS News Hour that he doesn’t think there is more to be revealed about clerical sexual misconduct as related to adult seminarians.
“No, I don’t,” Father Martin said when the anchor asked him, “Do you think there is more to this in the Church with adult seminarians?”
“I think that Cardinal McCarrick’s case is really extraordinary…” the Jesuit responded.
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a much-awaited grand jury report on decades of sex abuse and Church cover-up across six different dioceses. The report names 301 priests accused of horrific sex abuse and the various bishops who were involved in keeping the cases quiet.
Other prelates slated to attend the World Meeting of Families include Cardinals Kevin Farrell, Joseph Tobin, and Oscar Maradiaga – all of whom are facing tough questions over recent revelations of sex abuse.
Some are calling this the “Summer of Shame” for the Catholic Church.