Certain bishops are cause of continued presence of predators in seminaries and parishes: U.S. bishop
SPOKANE, Washington, September 5, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. bishop says it is not “clericalism” to blame for the scandals now rocking the Catholic Church but “immoral actions.” Laity are needed to lead the way, he says, as are prayer and fasting to drive out demonic forces and degeneracy in the priesthood.
In a remarkable, strongly worded video statement recorded before the release of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's testimony, Bishop Thomas Daly of the Diocese of Spokane rebuked the forces at work in the church in recent decades that tolerated and or covered up sexual abuse by clergy.
Double lives, depravity, scandalous and immoral behavior
“We’ve all heard or read the sickening details of the Pennsylvania grand jury report,” began Bishop Daly. “The details of Archbishop McCarrick’s abusive actions and double life, and the scandalous and immoral behavior occurring in several diocesan and religious seminaries.”
“It is hard to imagine men who are supposed to lead holy lives and shepherd their people engaging in such depravity,” said Daly. “The reality is, they did.”
“We have to uncover hidden sins, and purify the Church from clerical abuse and degeneracy,” he added.
“There is truly a diabolical nature to this crisis,” said Daly. “It is not ‘clericalism.’ It is a crisis, an immoral crisis.”
“Prayers and fasting are needed as a foundation on which real reform can be built,” said the bishop.
Raising up saints during times of corruption and sin in the hierarchy and clergy
“God can and will use this time to raise up great saints to lead the Church forward,” said Daly. “We know from over 2,000 years of our Church’s history that in times of great sin in the world, God always raises up men and women who are called to lead as holy priests and religious, disciples and reformers, who call the world to faith in Christ.”
“During times of corruption and sin in the hierarchy and clergy, God raises up holy lay people and families to call again His Church back to holiness,” asserted Daly. “We need the laity to help lead the way.”
After Archbishop Viganò published his testimony, Bishop Daly appended the following written text to his video statement:
In regards to Archbishop Viganò's letter, Bishop Daly concurs with the statement of Cardinal DiNardo, President of the US Bishops Conference.
"The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past."
Write to Doug Mainwaring at [email protected].
Here is the full text of Bishop Daly’s video statement:
Hello, I’m Bishop Tom Daly from the Diocese of Spokane. We’ve all heard or read the sickening details of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. The details of Archbishop McCarrick’s abusive actions and double life, and the scandalous and immoral behavior occurring in several diocesan and religious seminaries.
It is hard to imagine men who are supposed to lead holy lives and shepherd their people engaging in such depravity.
The reality is, they did.
As a Church, as a body of bishops in this country, we have not historically responded to these reports in a way that would work to prevent every instance of abuse.
At times, certain bishops have even been the cause of the continued presence of predators in diocesan offices, seminaries, and parish communities.
Much has been said about the improvements since the 2002 Dallas Charter. And it is true: Children are incredibly safe at a Catholic Church.
And it is also true that more must be done.
We have to uncover hidden sins, and purify the Church from clerical abuse and degeneracy.
As your bishop, I am committed to you.
In the gospels, Jesus asks, “Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread?”
In response to the abuse crisis in 2002, when the lay faithful demanded action from the bishops, policies and programs were put into place.
Sadly, it now appears that certain bishops in this country gave stones when the laity asked for bread.
As a bishop, I am called to be a father -- a title that I take very seriously because of the tremendous responsibilities to protect, provide, and assist the faithful of Eastern Washington.
Please know that our Diocese of Spokane is committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults in our churches.
We’re also committed to ensuring our seminarians receive formation in a safe environment, and that our priests, religious, and lay staff labor in workplaces free from harassment.
Any parishioner, any seminarian, any religious sister, priest or deacon who feels harassed or witnesses harassment, should report this behavior to the police if the actions appear to be criminal, as well as to the safe environment offices.
At our chancery we have the Office of Child and Youth Protection.
We take very seriously every accusation, and commend the courage shown by those who report suspected abuse.
What can you, as the lay faithful, do to help?
Prayer and fasting. Not because you are at fault in this crisis, but because our collective prayers and works of mercy build up the Body of Christ.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said that some demonic forces can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.
There is truly a diabolical nature to this crisis.
It is not ‘clericalism.’ It is a crisis, an immoral crisis.
Prayers and fasting are needed as a foundation on which real reform can be built.
More to the point, every Christian is called to be holy. Pursuing holiness is needed now more than ever.
God can and will use this time to raise up great saints to lead the Church forward.
We know from over 2,000 years of our Church’s history that in times of great sin in the world, God always raises up men and women who are called to lead as holy priests and religious, disciples and reformers, who call the world to faith in Christ.
During times of corruption and sin in the hierarchy and clergy, God raises up holy lay people and families to call again His Church back to holiness.
We need the laity to help lead the way.
On a practical note, the U.S. Bishops Conference is pursuing plans to be decided on in our next meeting in November for a response to this present crisis that will include crucial lay involvement -- a proposal that I support, hoping that this committee will have members of law enforcement, parents, and those who care about the young.
On a local level, lay involvement in the parish is essential. Your skills and talents enrich the Church at every level. Thank you.
And I would ask you to pray with me for the end of this corruption and degeneracy in the Church, and for the strength of every Catholic to keep the faith.
Please pray for me as well. God bless.
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