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Catholic Hollywood star Patricia Heaton slams US bishops’ handling of McCarrick sex-abuse scandal

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August 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life actress and Hollywood celebrity Patricia Heaton sharply criticized a statement from USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo regarding disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on Twitter early Thursday morning, saying the Bishops’ had their shot at addressing the sexual abuse scandal and blew it.

Cardinal DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement on Wednesday in which he expressed “anger, sadness, and shame” for the “grievous moral failure within the Church” regarding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s sex-abuse accusations. 

“Dear Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, The laity does not care how much shame you feel,” Heaton, who is Catholic, said. “We want all those who perpetrated and covered up sexual abuse OUT. Also, victims of abuse should not ‘come forward’ but go directly to the police. You had your chance to help; you failed,” she added.

Also criticizing DiNardo for expressing how the McCarrick accusations have affected the Bishops, the Christian actress told him the Catholic laity wants sexual abusers in the Church and those who covered for them removed from office. 

Heaton has been an honorary chair of Feminists for Life of America and has been continually vocal in her support of the pro-life cause for years.

Her tweet captured the anger and frustration felt by many among the Catholic laity toward Church hierarchy since the McCarrick accusations surfaced for the enabling and covering for sexual predators among their ranks.

The news broke June 20 that McCarrick had been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. He will face a canonical trial.

Since then additional accounts of McCarrick’s alleged abuse have surfaced – along with reports that McCarrick’s abuse was widely known for years but neither addressed by Church leadership nor allowed to be reported in the mainstream media.

Also since then, various U.S. Church prelates have insisted publicly they did not know about the alleged abuse perpetrated by McCarrick on young boys, seminarians, and priests. 

Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals July 28. 

DiNardo released his statement August 1. He acknowledged that the Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality, saying that a "spiritual conversion" from bishops was needed. He did not acknowledge, however, the prominent role homosexuality is playing in the Church’s sexual morality crisis.

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