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Pope concedes to ‘thorough study’ of Vatican docs on McCarrick, will meet Cdl. DiNardo, Abp. Gomez

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ROME, Oct. 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) —Pope Francis will meet privately on Monday with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Archbishop Jose Gomez, president and vice-president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, in light of news today that he has ordered a “thorough study” of all Vatican documents regarding ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

In a statement issue today (see below), the Vatican said that, in Sept. 2017, the Pope had ordered the Archdiocese of New York to begin a preliminary investigation into McCarrick, after the archdiocese had been notified that a man had accused the former cardinal of having abused him in the 1970s.

The Vatican said it would “make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick” in “due course,” but said Pope Francis has decided to combine the findings of the preliminary investigation with a “further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See.” 

Their stated goal is to “ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.”

Today’s announcement comes exactly six weeks after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò issued his explosive 11-page testimony, saying he had personally told Pope Francis about McCarrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians in 2013. Archbishop Viganò further alleged that Pope Francis not only failed to enforce sanctions placed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict, but even made him a chief advisor particularly in the appointment of U.S. bishops.

In today’s statement, the Vatican said it is “conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues.”

“We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,” it continued, quoting Pope Francis.

“Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable,” the statement said.

Respected Catholic author Phil Lawler responded to the statement today on Facebook, saying: “Candor, Vatican style. In a statement about the McCarrick scandal, the Holy See reminds us that Pope Francis has promised to ‘follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,’ and then tells us that McCarrick was guilty of … clericalism. They STILL don’t get it.”

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register said sources have confirmed Pope Francis will meet on Monday with Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Gomez in light of today’s news:

In their statement, the Vatican also reiterated that Pope Francis has called a meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences from around the world next February, to discuss the issue of sexual abuse.

And it ended by quoting Pope Francis in his recent letter to the People of God on the issue of abuse:  “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge out past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.”

Here below is the statement issued by the Holy See Press Office.

***

October 6th Statement of the Holy See

After the publication of the accusations regarding the conduct of Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick, the Holy Father Pope Francis, aware of and concerned by the confusion that these accusations are causing in the conscience of the faithful, has established that the following be communicated:

In September 2017, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Holy See that a man had accused former Cardinal McCarrick of having abused him in the 1970s. The Holy Father ordered a thorough preliminary investigation into this, which was carried out by the Archdiocese of New York, at the conclusion of which the relative documentation was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the meantime, because grave indications emerged during the course of the investigation, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Archbishop McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, prohibiting him by order from exercising public ministry, and obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance.

The Holy See will, in due course, make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick. Moreover, with reference to other accusations brought against Archbishop McCarrick, the Holy Father has decided that information gathered during the preliminary investigation be combined with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick, in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.

The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues. However, as Pope Francis has said: “We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead” (Philadelphia, 27 September 2015). Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.

The Holy Father Pope Francis renews his pressing invitation to unite forces to fight against the grave scourge of abuse within and beyond the Church, and to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society. As previously made known, the Holy Father has convened a meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences from around the world for next February, while the words of his recent Letter to the People of God still resonate:  “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge out past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.” (20 August 2018).

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